I was thrilled to find that Steep Theatre’s The Receptionist was a reasonable 75 minutes with no intermission. I have a friend who works as a stage manager, and she’s said that she doesn’t understand plays that have intermissions. The actors don’t need them, the crew doesn’t need them, and she doesn’t think the audience does either. I agree! For the most part, playwrights can say what they need to say in an intermission-less 80 minutes or less. Far too often, the energy dissipates completely by the time it picks back up, and that’s a huge loss.
Anyway, this was a great ensemble piece, although I appreciated Caroline Neff a little more than the other actors, as usual. She’s so good! Here’s an excerpt of my play review:
“The mood is set before the show even starts: Muzak versions of Top 40 hits play while the audience settles in, and the perfect set design (Stephen Harold Carmody) replicates every small office lobby in the country, effectively establishing a sense of malaise with a few inspirational posters and a sad potted plant. Then the titular receptionist enters and starts transferring calls to voicemail while chatting with the staff, and office workers in the audience might wonder if they went to the theater or just never left work for the day.”
You can read the rest of the review here. The play is definitely worth a trip up to Andersonville.