This eccentric, two and a half person show from Not a Robot Theatre Co will leave you smiling. Jacy Barber and Jason Patrick Wells wrote, produced, and star in this quirky, trans-media creation. They have transformed the Sprenger Theater at Atlas into a sci-fi, rock music adventure using well-timed projections, lights, props, and puppets.
Girl in Space is exactly what the title suggests. A girl lives on a ship floating through space, her only friend the musings of her mind and the music of her body. The ship (the extra half) controls her every move, providing both nourishment and entertainment; all she has to do is push a button when the ship requires it. Unbeknownst to our protagonist, the ship is managed by Mission Control (Jason Patrick Wells) back on what is ostensibly Earth. Our Girl is an experiment, and Mission Control the controller – but for how long?
Jacy and Jason invite you right into the action, allowing for no separation between the stage and the audience. You serve as a silent, observant fourth character to Girl’s path of discovery. Jacy’s ‘Girl’ is vibrant, curious, and energetic; someone you can’t help but fall in love with. Having watched her grow, Jason’s idiosyncratic ‘Mission Control’ holds a one-sided longing for Girl. Their dynamic managed by Ship, whose robot voice serves as the perfect bridge.
Girl in Space
by Jacy Barber and Jason Patrick Wells
at Sprenger – Atlas Performing Arts Center
1333 H Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
Details and tickets
However, the story can be confusing and hard to follow at certain points, as the pace is fast and the audience always a step behind. Clever use of lights and music help alleviate the problem, keeping audience members engaged. It would have also been great to see the Ship play a more central piece in the story, perhaps by providing deeper conflicts for Girl.
Girl in Space still hits most of the right notes. Looking around the Sprenger’s stage, all eyes twinkled with wonder, smiling uncontrollably.