Island of Slaves

by Marivaux
Orfeo Group, Boston

set by Cristina Todesco
costumes by Katherine O'Neill
lights by Caleb Jon Magoon
sound and music composition by Bill Barclay

Eliott Norton nomination, Outstanding Design
photos by Mark Howard

"Pierre Marivaux’s Island of Slaves is a classic comedy of role reversal: Marooned on a mysterious island run by former slaves, two servants switch places with their masters and discover the pleasures - and dangers - of wielding authority over another human being.
Set designer Cristina Todesco...has transformed the BCA’s Plaza Theatre into a spooky, mysterious box, marked by square columns at the corners of the performance space and surrounded by audience members on all sides. It quickly becomes clear that this arrangement is no mere gimmick: Just as Marivaux sought to hold up a mirror to his elegant ancien regime audiences, so Orfeo is making us complicit members of the society that draws lines between those who hold power and those who feel its sting.

That all sounds too heavy, though, for one thing this “Island’’ assuredly is not is ponderous...Director Kathryn Walsh and the energetic young cast find all the wit in Neil Bartlett’s adaptation of the text, and they add their own playful sense of physical humor to the mix. The result is an Island of Slaves that seeks to amuse as much as it enlightens."
- Louise Kennedy, The Boston Globe

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