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JAKARTA, Indonesia - The next time you hear a friend sigh and complain that there’s never anything interesting to do in Jakarta, stump them with this question: Ever heard of Jakarta Players?
Regrettably, most people haven’t. Most of us rush off to see whatever mindless dribble was recently released in cinemas, not realizing that we have good, live theater right here in Jakarta.
If you haven’t been acquainted with this non-profit community theater group yet, this weekend is your chance. From November 7-9, the talented Indonesian and expatriate actors behind Jakarta Players will stage “Status: It’s Complicated,” a handful of one-act plays, each between 10 and 20 minutes long, that everyone who’s ever been in a relationship – real or otherwise – can relate to.
“Some of the plays will have you laughing out loud, some will impress you with the depth of their drama, and all will have you reflecting on how we fall in and out of love,” says news anchor and theater aficionado Marissa Anita, who has been treading the boards with the Jakarta Players for over 9 years now.
They’ll bring to life Jonathan Rand’s comedy on dating nightmares, Julie Marie Myatt's hilarious look at why men marry women and women marry men, Joe Maruzzo's award-winning play showcasing the magic of finding true connection with another human being in the city, David Ives’ dating mayflies who realise they have only 24 hours to live, and Melanie Marnich’s drama on a family torn apart by lies.
All the plays are very contemporary, explains Jakarta Players president Andrew Trigg, as most were written in the last 5 years.
“And the plays are all very different from each other,” he says. “So even though they're all about the complexities of relationships, they all approach the subject from a very different angle — from smart comedy to serious drama to satire. So it's a real mix of moods and tones.”
The coy combination of 5 one-act plays gives the troupe the chance to take audience members down through 5 different emotional rabbit holes.
“Having several completely different stories keeps the show moving and keeps the surprises coming,” Trigg adds.
“It's also a great way to involve a lot of people in a show — we normally have more people acting in this type of show than a full-sized production. So it's great way to draw new people into our community.”
Trigg hopes Jakarta audiences will appreciate the pared-down, up-close-and personal aspect of their latest production.
“In Jakarta we’re so used to watching movies,” he says. “There’s something amazingly compelling about seeing a live performance up close. It has an effect that big budget movies don’t have. You’re right there with the people. The reason I like these intimate shows is that you feel like it’s happening right in front of you. There’s something magical about watching people interacting.”
If you need any more convincing, proceeds from the show will help build new houses for poor Indonesian families through Habitat for Humanity Indonesia.
The shows will run at 7:30pm from November 7-9, and at 2pm as well on November 8-9, at the Apartemen Pavilion Club House, on Jalan Mas Mansyur, Central Jakarta. And as an added bonus, each show will feature free refreshments from Common Grounds, a new coffee shop at nearby Citiwalk Sudirman. – Rappler.com