Math For Actors

Fringe 057

russell storer

Purposeful Pretenders brings Emily C. A. Snyder’s Math For Actors to the Atlantic Fringe Festival, which sees Kate attempt to tutor her dramatic friend Keith so that he won’t fail math class.

The play was written by American playwright Emily C. A. Snyder circa 2009 and it has a fun premise of banter between a young mathematician and a zealous theatre geek, who harbor secret feelings for one another. It also touches briefly on the question: which is a more practical skill to have- those needed to do complicated mathematical equations or those needed to perform and read ancient texts. It’s clear that Snyder knows more about theatre than mathematics, however, because most of the theatrical references are witty and insightful, but often the math equations don’t even entirely make sense.

Valerie MacKenzie is exuberant and doe-eyed as Kate and Russell Storer really shines as Keith, who oscillates nicely between bold, obvious theatrical facade when he is trying to avoid math and a much more subdued and vulnerable side that emerges when he is being himself. There is also a fun use of the tango.

There are a few challenges in this production. Firstly, the dynamics of the play would work better if MacKenzie and Storer were actually teenagers, especially because their chemistry together is distinctly one of fun and friendship, but doesn’t have the necessary element of young, inexperienced, awkward, fervent sexual passion. Also, at times MacKenzie is much more theatrical in her portrayal of Kate than Storer’s Keith, and it would have been nice to see a stronger disparity between the two characters’ personalities so that it becomes more about their opposites attracting.

In all, Math For Actors is a sweet little play with some funny theatre jokes, a lot of heart and joie de vivre from its cast.

TWISI Rating: 3 and a half stars

Math For Actors plays at the Theatre Nova Scotia Living Room (2353 Agricola Street) at the following times: 

September 2
Theatre NS The Living Room @ 8:00 PM
September 3
Theatre NS The Living Room @ 8:15 PM
September 4
Theatre NS The Living Room @ 7:15 PM
September 5
Theatre NS The Living Room @ 9:00 PM
September 6
Theatre NS The Living Room @ 8:30 PM
September 7
Theatre NS The Living Room @ 7:15 PM
September 8
Theatre NS The Living Room @ 5:45 PM

Tickets are $7.00 and are available in advance online at this website or 30 minutes before each show at the venue on the day of the performance. All tickets bought in person must be purchased with either cash or credit. For more information please visit this website or call 902.422.7604 between 10:00am and 5:00pm. 

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