Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Dust 

Teen actors from ACT stage an accomplished play about a girl transported through time to become a female gladiator

Wednesday, Aug 28 2002
Comments
By the time most American female thespians graduate from puberty, they've already become all too intimate with the overproduced script of Our Town and the painful lyrics of Bye Bye Birdie's unpleasant ditty "How Lovely to Be a Woman." To counter the country's lack of teenage drama (Ricki Lake notwithstanding), ACT's Young Conservatory, which is chock-full of tender-aged talent, has been commissioning plays like Dust specifically for the younger class. English playwright Sarah Daniels' drama follows an unpopular American teen named Flavia who, while on a field trip overseas with her cruel peers, gets caught in an underground time warp that spirals her into ancient Roman London. In this past time she learns to fight in a company of kick-ass female gladiators, and builds enough confidence to ward off the jeering and jerking around of her cliquish classmates. The actors, many of whom are still in high school, do a wonderful job with the production, especially Adde Bigelow, whose understated reading of Flavia makes the text all the more interesting and credible. Some of the portrayals of high school snobs and airheaded "Girlie Glads" (who perform a Spice Girls-esque dance routine midplay) are a tad over the top, but they'd likely communicate the essence of the show to a younger audience. ACT's rendition of this morality play is visually compelling and contains combat scenes performed in terrific costumes against a stunningly versatile set (designed by Russell Milligan). Dust's production values are high and its acting fun to watch, but teens and their parents should be aware that it's more appropriate for a preteen demographic; while local high-schoolers can surely relate to the angst associated with geekdom and wearing the wrong lipstick color, some might feel that inner-city life often presents them with more pressing problems.

About The Author

Karen Macklin

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"