The Object Lesson Gave Me a Good Lesson

 

 

By Sandi Durell

 

 

Hoarders Alert!   For everyone who stores, keeps, won’t let go of, and makes excuses for items that no longer have any redeeming value (nostalgia or otherwise) – this one’s for you!

 

If you decide to visit the New York Theatre Workshop on East 4 Street where Sam Gold’s recent Othello, starring David Oyelowo and Daniel Craig played to rave reviews, and recall the gutted, stripped bare staging of mattresses and more strewn about, and thought that was unusual, and messy, . . . well . . . you’ll drop your jaw in disbelief entering the warehouse of boxes piled to the ceiling, strewn about as an ‘installation’ for Geoff Sobelle’s performance in The Object Lesson.

 

 

 

This immersive, more to the point, big question mark of a production, gives Sobelle a platform as a theater artist and teacher (Pig Iron School in Philadelphia), a place to practice the art of sublime ridiculous in his conquest of seeing the absurd live and grow. His works tour nationally and internationally. And absurd does create laughter as Geoff Sobelle readily knows having come to his craft as a magician, morphing into acting and clowning.

 

The Object Lesson, he describes, is “a practical colossal joke lovingly made and diabolically let loose upon a captive audience.”

 

So when you enter the warehouse, don’t enter lightly, feel free to move some of the hundreds of boxes around, open them, share the contents and see what develops. And then make every effort to score a seat on one of them or on something more comfortable that may be lying around, like an old chair or mattress, as you’ll find yourself mostly in the dark or very dim lit quarters for two hours.

 

 

And without giving anything more away, be prepared to witness the most unusual salad making technique ever seen. . . anywhere!

 

For me, the object of this lesson was a BIG reminder to immediately visit my storage unit, open those boxes, and rid my life of all that unnecessary, unused, never to be used, rarely seen or looked at contents for which I pay much to much money monthly to keep!

 

Photos: Joan Marcus

 

The Object Lesson, directed by David Neumann, runs 2 hours with intermission at NYTW, 79 East 4 Street, www.nytw.org thru March 19.

 

 

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