Its unnerving to see a play in a church. The set design, lighting, and seating are already restricted; iconography, Bibles, and hymnals sit in front of the audience in the pews. And yet this setting is oddly relevant to Open Circle Theaters 100th anniversary production of August Strindbergs Ghost Sonata. An organ plays when the house opens, and its like youre at a wake. Strindbergs expressionist classicwhich Ingmar Bergman produced a handful of timestells the story of a student as he gets involved in more than what he bargained for and the old man that bargains for him. Director Andy Justus, in his production notes, realizes the play breaks away from the traditional form and that Strindberg was less concerned with building up suspense to a final resolution and more about sustaining a mood. There certainly is no final resolution, the mood is pervasive, and the play does take an unconventional form. Just when one might think the production should end, it continues to another act (note: there is no intermission) which is somewhat stagnant, leaving the audience slightly on edge as the play culminates in a literal prayer for salvation. IRFAN SHARIFF 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., 5 p.m. Sun. Ends May 10.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m. Starts: April 11. Continues through May 10, 2008