Hamilton Theatre Gets a Taste of the Avant-Garde
Following a fall semester abroad in the UK, Timothy Hartel ’18 wasted no time getting back into the rhythm of theatre at Hamilton, presenting a one-man show titled Room 101 on Feb. 24 and 25. Hartel describes the piece as “a performed discussion of repetition and exhaustive pleasure/pain and the neo-baroque and the queer body in space and TIME and everything else and nothing really.”
The piece, performed and created by Hartel, and presented by the Hamilton Theatre Department, was produced by Bare Naked Theatre. IT heavily focused on Hartel’s training in repetition and performance at Queen Mary University in London. This is Bare Naked Theatre’s first production since it produced Ruby Rae Spiegel’s Dry Land in January.
Hartel began devising the piece while still in London. “I started out doing an early draft of it on the bank of a canal, and it was so weird because kids would come up to me, and I felt so exposed. It’s a very exposing piece,” he said during a Q & A on Saturday.
The project’s lighting designer, Noelani Stevenson ’19, said of the show, “It was a really interesting piece to be involved in, and I really enjoyed designing for it because I wasn’t tied down by the normal constraints of theatre.” Assistant director and stage manager Sharon Hammer ’20 commented, “I usually work with realism, so getting to be involved with this level of art is pretty insane.”
Hartel maintains that the piece has no specific intended meaning. “I feel like theatre people are always thinking, ‘I get this. I get this, I’m going to understand it, I’m going to watch it and understand it,” Hartel said. “I kind of want people to like, lean back and admit, ‘I don’t get it.’”