Under The Skiff – Powerfully Funny

By: Stanley Allan Sherman
© October 25, 2012

Presented by: Vagabond Inventions and InterAction
Conception and Scenario by: Maja Bieler and Jennifer Sargent
Devised by: Maja Bieler, Audrey Lamarque and Jennifer Sargent
Artist Consultation: Iciar Trespaderne
Directed by: Audrey Lamarque
Sound and Music by: Maja Bieler
Set by: Jennifer Sargent and Chris Petrinovic
Light and Sound Tech by: Chris Petrinovic

Featuring: Maja Bieler as Bibi
Jennifer Sargent as Manuela

Admittance to The Department Of Immigration Ministry Of The Homeland

Clown show Under the Skiff with Maja Bieler as Bibi Jennifer Sargent as Manuela

Jennifer Sargent as Manuela and Maja Bieler as Bibi
Photo credit is Mohamed Sali

In this new theatrical world of Clown Theater there have been great strides made, many of the artists coming out of the school of Ecole Jacque Lecoq in Paris, France.  Maja Bieler and Jennifer Sargent with direction by Audrey Lamarque are three who have struck a powerful mark with their creation and performance of Under The Skiff.    This international team creates a hauntingly odd world of the insane government bureaucracy dealing with immigration, the personal relationships playing with and against one another and the system.  Their desperate personal relationships in this desperate immigration world make for great theater.  Because it is Clown Theater these two clowns wonderfully play with this extreme emotional life situation which although real in fact we as an audience can accept the play of this insanity because of these clowns.  They did do research in several countries on immigration so these ladies know what they are talking about.

Every single moment of Under The Skiff we are totally involved.  Pulled into this world starting in the dark with the eerie sound of the metal gate and chains rising and The Department Of Immigration Ministry Of The Homeland opens.  Not a single moment anywhere in the show is one counting the lights hanging in house instead of being captivated with this show.

Bibi and Manuela’s relationship goes back and forth from total distrust by Bibi to innocent joy of Manuela.   The two get in their best position to be called for that interview to immigrate into their chosen country.  I will not spoil the show for you by giving away details.  But yes the magic happens on stage.  The international language with Bibi speaking Swedish really gives the show that communication edge with these clowns ending up helping one another out or trying.  After all they are clowns.   Yes there is real drama with moments that the audience is close to tears.   Using the clown we are able to travel so much deeper into the emotional funny soul of hell in the immigration office.   Anyone speaking any language will enjoy this show.  Especially if you have dealt with immigration on any level personally or you are a bureaucrat or deal with bureaucracy you do not want to miss Under The Skill.

These two ladies are top-notch veteran performers and it shows. There is also a pre-show where immigration officers interrogate you in order to get into the theater.  Which makes for a great and fun start to this experience.  On this night it was the fun and harsh team of Audrey Crabtree and Billy Shultz (Oct. 28 & Nov. 1) on other nights it will be Alex Kipp and Jennifer Stokes (Nov. 2, 3 & 9) or Janssen-Faith & Emily James (Nov. 8 & 9).   Plus big cheers to Maja and Jennifer because they are self-producing this run which started in Paris, France and now in NYC until November 10, then they travels to New Orleans for a run at The Always Theater, November 14th, 17th at 9 PM, November 15th, 18th at 7 PM, 16th at 11 PM.

All show New York Shows at The Red Room are at 8 PM October 28, November 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th and 10th:  The Red Room 85 East 4th Street, 3rd floor between 3rd & 2nd Avenue NYC.   Tickets are $20 and are available at www.brownpapertickets.com or at the box office.

Vagabond Inventions www.vagabondinventions.com
InterAction www.interaction-goldmind.info

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