Oh, the Humanity
By HOLLY WALL, Urban Tulsa Weekly 2/07/2007
Theatre troupe brings its view of certain human tendencies to stage
It starts with a pounding of drums, a loud, crashing beating of the heart, then, through a series of 17 original monologues, "Humans," the 50Swats Collective's newest work, explores what it is to be human - the pain, the pitfalls, the humor and the hurt. And they do it with the raw beauty, passion, grit and grime you've come to expect from the group.
The performers are Joseph Gomez, John and Sara Cruncleton and Heather Sams, and the pieces they perform are written by Gomez, the Cruncletons, Amy Wilson and Amber Whitlatch, interrupted by original and rather interesting percussion interludes by Steve Beard.
This group of marvelous actors and writers is always a joy to watch because, not only are they talented, but they're also completely provocative and totally unafraid. No subject is taboo, and in "Humans," the monologues performed explore the best and worst parts of being human, saying everything many of us are probably thinking but could never say aloud.
It's like standing in front of a mirror and examining the worst parts of yourself, and while you're laughing at the characters on stage, you're also half wishing it would just stop, cringing at the uncomfortable.
The 50Swats crew also manages to get inside the minds of people you'd least want to be inside -- an outlaw, a whore, an abuser, an incestuous lover -- but like all good character sketches, those performed by the collective manage to humanize them somehow, and even if you don't see something of yourself on that stage, there is something recognizable. And it begs the question -- Do their stories still deserve to be heard?
The 50Swats answer is, unanimously, yes. They also raise questions about prejudice, race, religion, love, sex and satisfaction. I wanted to jump out of my seat in applause after every monologue performed.
You have three more chances this weekend to see what I'm talking about, and I suggest you find out. "Humans" continues this Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 8-10, at 8pm each night at the Nightingale Theater, 1416 E. 4th St. Go with an open mind, a curiosity to learn and eight bucks.