Some thoughts on ‘Nobody’ by Crystal Skillman

February 27, 2009

For Rising Phoenix Repertory, commissioning most of its projects for the dimly lit back room of an East Village restaurant doesn’t just present an opportunity to cut down on production costs. During the past three years, the understated intensity of the Seventh Street Small Stage at Jimmy’s No. 43 has come to define the work of this Off-Off Broadway company. The group’s latest effort, a monologue play by frequent Rising Phoenix collaborator Crystal Skillman, plays into the intimacy of this space in all the right ways, juxtaposing the realism of its setting and characters to explore the inherent absurdity of the human mind.

Running about 60 minutes, ‘Nobody’ features monologues from six characters who have all shown up at the same restaurant on a given day. While some relationships and connections within the group are revealed, there are no direct exchanges; in fact, the six remain almost completely stationary throughout the work, staring, preoccupied, into space. The subject of dreams shows up in each narrative, as these characters revisit the demons of their past relationships in the confines of their nightly visions.

The train-of thought flow of Skillman’s language finds a comfortable home inside the charged monotone of her characters’ voices, and there are moments in which ‘Nobody’ sounds like a spoken-word poem. That her words demand true concentration from an audience further speaks to the necessity of this tiny, unstaged space. It’s not often that a theatergoer has the opportunity to observe, from just a few feet away, as an actor tears into the subconscious of a character. It’s not an experience one is likely to forget.

‘Nobody’ plays tonight and tomorrow at 6pm. For more information, see


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s