Sometimes a smaller theatre company can mount a production that has so much enthusiasm and heart that one looks past technical issues and the company’s shoestring budget and just says “Who Cares! The show just rocks”. Venus Theatre has mounted A Little Rebellion Now at The Warehouse Theatre and it has that feel of true theatre excitement that is hard to beat. The young actors in this production clearly love the show they are involved in and it carries over to the audience. I was moved just by the faces at curtain call, smiles and grins abound both on stage and off.
The play written by local playwright LJ Voss is a look at what could happen if disenchantment with the DC government continues to disenfranchise the citizens of the District. Lead by local poet Nanni Johnson (Barbara K Asare-Bediako), the rebellion begins with locals Qwondolyn Smith (Faith Dukes), a young single mom and Ron Davis (Josh Drew), a young lawyer with a promising future meeting at a bus stop at 14th and Colombia Rd. Davis forges an alliance with IMF-World Bank protesters that gives the locals the necessary numbers to block all the entrances and exits to the city in a move that surprises the Feds and brings the city to a stand still. As the city and the federal government fight back the rebellion loses steam and support. An exciting finish is filled with gunfire and violence that leaves the movement squashed physically but not mentally.
Strong performances by a young cast make this a truly compelling show and deserving of critical acclaim. Faith Dukes as Qwondolyn shows a feisty comic wit that shines through the sometimes heavy material. Both Josh Drew and Barbara K Asare-Bediako are equally satisfying in roles that requires depth and passion. The cast is spirited and do a fine job creating a mini revolution on Seventh Street.
A minimal stage design is made up of a few tables, chairs and stacked tables to simulate barriers. Costuming is minimal besides the Free DC tee shirts and Military Uniforms. The sound design by Denman Anderson was imaginative given such a tight budget and such a large undertaking.. The combat slow motion choreography by Monalisa Arias between the Free DC forces and the military were well done and such a better choice than trying to simulate too much realism with a larger cast and real time action.
Produced by Venus Theatre