The most engaging part of this show, for children and adults alike, came after the performance had finished. Left to his own devices during the question-and-answer period, Gene Tagaban, Coyotes sole performer, launched into an unscripted tale about one of his favorite mythological tricksters, the rabbit. With his enthusiasm for Native American lore, Tagaban is at ease onstage as both an actor and an educator. John Kauffmans script, focusing on another trickster, the coyote, seems to constrain Tagaban. Though he wrote the script for a single actor in order to retain the authenticity of Native American storytelling, the effect is that the stories begin to meld together. (Coyote gets in a pickle, then in another, and another, which may or may not be related to the previous one.) Coyotes technical elements are all beautifully done, most notably Don Yaniks set design and Tim Wrattens lighting; both are visually appealing and complementary without distracting from the performance. Lee Barnette Dombrowskis costumes provide an element of transformation from modern American Indian to tribal native. BRENT ARONOWITZ Also see Longenbaugh's interview with Tagaban here. See Web site for the Byzantine weekend performance schedule through May 11.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: March 14. Continues through May 11, 2008