A dash of absurdism on The Moors - UW Milwaukee at Waukesha

November 19, 2019

Welcome to a place that pervades time, and in a sense, all other laws of this Earth. It is bleak and dreary, and terribly redundant, day-in and day-out. Here resides Agatha, with iron grip over her sister and staff. Welcome to The Moors. This absurd and surreal piece tread the boards at UW-Milwaukee Waukesha (previously UW-Waukesha) under the direction of Steven Decker.

 

The natural order of things seems to be in order until governess Emilie is invited under the pretense that she will be caring for children on the property. Upon her arrival, there are no children to be found, and the young woman is tested and tasked with much heavier responsibility.

 

In the subplot, a dog and a bird - naturally expected to be at odds with one another - strike up a strange yet tender love for one another. Ian Ostep brings a steadfast solitude to the Mastiff, with eloquently delivered speeches of fervent loneliness and unfaltering commitment. This counters the frenetic nature of Sam Green's Moor Hen, creating a charismatic and endearing dynamic between the two.

 

Eli Buran, Jessica Mayer, Abby Fuchs, and Kyla Morey performing in The Moors. 

 

Emilie (Abby Fuchs) and Agatha (Kyla Morey) reside as the straight characters of the realm, sharing the stage with Jessica Mayer's bubbly Huldey and Eli Buran's ever-ailing housemaid Marjory. Here, three may be company, but four becomes a crowd with the presence of the governess, and quickly the plot escalates.

 

Jazmin Aurora Medina's costumes define the tone of the show from the start. Whimsical and bright, the color scheme assigns distinct traits to each individual and exaggerate the implicit differences between the oddly assembled ensemble.

 

This is a play about power. Dark and ominous from start to end, the audience is along to wonder who pulls the puppet strings and who is manipulated. While it has its comedic moments, The Moors is unsettling and challenges the viewer from curtain to curtain.

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