The Cutting Ball Theater gives audiences a selection of four plays during their season-in-residence at the EXIT on Taylor, and each one is an exquisite gem of experimental theater. Last fall’s performance of Pelleas and Melisande (directed by Rob Melrose) wove the childlike delight of a fairytale into the dramatic interpretation of universal human anguish. The set design employed an onstage pool of water, gorgeous blue and white lighting, and a spectral musical accompaniment that infused the piece with the ghostly, yearning quality of love forever lost. Cutting Ball’s upcoming production of Tontlawald promises to be no less impressive.
The story is an ancient tale from Estonia featuring a beautiful girl, Lona, who is oppressed by her terrible stepmother. Lona finds solace from her troubles in Tontlawald, the ghost forest. The performance includes a capella arrangements and emotive dance movement, delivering a delicious sensory experience for the audience. An intimate theater where every audience member is welcomed like a VIP, the Cutting Ball reliably produces work that is memorable and moving, and Tontlawald is the latest production to uphold this tradition.
Tontlawald is directed by Paige Rogers and Annie Paladino, with choreography by Laura Arrington. Preview performances are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 17 and Saturday, Feb. 18 at 8pm, and Sunday, Feb. 20 at 5pm. Prices for all preview tickets are at a discount so if you’re looking for an affordable way to see excellent theater, book your ticket to a preview performance online (click here for tickets) as soon as possible. Tontlawald will run from February 17 to March 11, 2012, and can be located at the EXIT on Taylor (at 277 Taylor Street) just a few blocks away from the Powell Street BART station in downtown San Francisco.