Visionary Director Janice Findley Realizes Caryl Churchill’s THE SKRIKER With Startling & Haunting Effect
The Skriker is unlike anything I’ve seen before –or daresay will ever see again! Findley and company carried me mind, body and spirit into the terrifying, humorous, visually stunning and trance-like world of The Skriker. Caryl Churchill’s realm of dark faeries and other underworldy creatures and the innocents they prey upon emerge from Timothy Siciliano’s startling sets and wrap themselves around your psyche like a bewitching nightmare one is never quite prepared to wake from.
Eve Cohen’s costumes seem alive and sentient themselves, full of movement; wickedly abstract extensions of spirit and ego. Pat Graney’s choreography blends gut-level dance with viscerally disturbing movements reminiscent of creatures from a nightmare or Todd Browning’s FREAKS. Paul Hansen’s original score seduces us into this alluring and treacherous realm until we feel we may carry its sounds and rhythms with us long after the players have taken their final bows.
The cast of devoted dancers and actors feel as if, they too, are caught in a web that has ensnared us all, cast and audience alike, and we must travel this world together, bewitched and transfixed, until its final moments when we, like Amelia Reeber’s ever-dancing Passerby, are finally released back into the world of the living, to ponder our experience and carry it with us deep in our guts, quite possibly forever. And Mary Ewald’s breathtaking performance as the shape-shifting Skriker itself will burrow deep beneath your skin with Joycean wordplay and riddles, both sardonic and haunting.
All of this exists, of course, due to the vivid and instinctual imagination of director/producer Janice Findley, whose vision and interpretation of Churchill’s world is both singular and flawless. Findley has brought her cinematic sensibilities to the theater while never mistaking one for the other. The Skriker is pure theater: daring, emotional, striking, engaging, provocative, startling and sublime. Findley truly is the god-like force behind these many players. And we couldn’t possibly be in better hands.
Now through November 11th at the Erickson Theater in Seattle.