First Look: ‘Far Away’ at Torn Space Theater


The cast of “Far Away” at Torn Space Theatre. Photo by Mark Duggan.

When playwright Caryl Churchill penned “Far Away” in 2000, the world was a different place. Modern society still had – as it always will have  – a plethora of struggle. But as Torn Space Theater stages this drama in 2018, its relevance and setting in the current climate is an eerie, timely reflection.

Director Dan Shanahan says, “The show deals with a society that has institutions and manners that resemble a democracy, however clearly an autocracy has taken hold. The author’s logic is that this society has moved to an ‘uncracked capitalist society’ where everything has been privatized and this has eroded all environmental standards and democratic institutions.”

Hmm. Familiar?

Shanahan taps into some fresh and raw energy for this production by casting three teen actors in principal roles. He says, “I felt the language of the play benefited by a certain directness that a teenager can bring.” Bonnie Jean Taylor, displays her incredible talent here as part of a tight, taut ensemble cast of nine actors.

Typical of Churchill’s work, “Far Away” is edgy, and the staging will reflect this. Shanahan says, “The show is written in three short acts, purposely fractured, with each act in a unique design.” Torn Space’s production team created a rich audio/visual backdrop for the poetry of Churchill’s script. The company’s scenographer Kristina Siegel fills the quiet moments with a visual score that articulates the fractured nature of Churchill’s world. Sound design by Justin Rowland, costume design by Jessica Wegrzyn, lighting design by Patty Rihn, and choreography by Alexia Buono will complement a world both far removed, and unsettlingly familiar in this bold, uncompromising production of “Far Away.”

“Far Away” is onstage at the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, located at 612 Fillmore Ave. Buffalo,  now through March 11, 2018. For tickets and more information, please click here.

Promotional Consideration Paid For By The Theatre Alliance Of Buffalo.