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Flyers and Other Tales

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The ways in which people hold on to their dreams in an increasingly impersonal and restrictive society are at the center of Kate Marks' three gently lyrical plays performed under the rubric "Flyers and Other Tales."

In the evening's first piece, "Buried," a street poet, a mime-clown, and a dancer hide underground in an attempt to elude a bureaucrat who is warning the populace that all street performers are talentless. All three artists work to stave off self-doubt, but they find it increasingly difficult.

In "Converting Numbers," the line for a public restroom at a coffeehouse allows Marks to examine the impersonality of society. A character named One finds that her faith in sequential order is shaken by the events on line, as she comes to realize that she is not the only "one." Comically, Thirteen finds himself discounted throughout.

In the evening's titular piece, Barefoot stands on a street corner vainly trying to lure passersby to take one of her flyers. She's soon joined by Flyer himself, a sort of 端ber leafleteer, who helps her to realize that she has become metaphorically and literally rooted by her job.

Director Heidi Handelsman elegantly deploys a talented ensemble of six performers who tackle multiple roles with grace, notably Mark Light-Orr, who turns on the machismo as a Latin dancer in the first piece and amuses with franticness as Thirteen. In "Buried," Cory Gibson provides a commanding but helpless presence as the poet and Marina Squerciati charms as the hapless mime, ducking hilariously as she attempts to perfect a knife trick.

Alison Saltz not only brings the dancer's dummy to mechanical life, but also a businesswoman who bristles at the notion that she is just a number. Julia Davis and Marc Santa Maria sparkle in "Flyers," imbuing their characters with humane aspirations and unease.

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