As we continue to get more accustomed to our lives in the pandemic, we have slowly been allowed to once again enjoy theatrics and entertainment. Luckily, Bozeman is now graced with the ability to host plays, beginning with the production “Polaroid Stories,” written by Naomi Iizuka and performed by the Bozeman Actor’s Theatre.
The first thing I noticed was the incredible ambiance of the showroom. There was soft lighting throughout most of the play as well as an arrangement of old television sets, pallets and ladders. All of them were accessorized with graffiti that matched the feel of not only the rap music in the background but also the general setting of a forgotten, tucked-away corner in a modern city.
The acting was exceptional. The dialogue felt largely natural, with the only awkward moments being attributed to the writing itself and not the acting. One thing that I did feel was detrimental to the story, however, was the lack of clarity. The play is done in an anthology style that goes over several stories from Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” adapted into a modern setting. The note in the program for the mythological references puts it best, “... sometimes characters relate to more than one mythological antecedent, thus their stories are often jumbled.”
Another thing that left me questioning the performance at its conclusion was the purpose of the polaroid. The camera is in the title, and the tables and walkways of the room were decorated with polaroids, so you would think that polaroids would be prominent throughout the production. However, the only time that polaroids are relevant to the story is at the very end. If anything I would think that switching the focus of the advertising to the radio (the object used to set the mood and swap between scenes) would’ve made more sense overall.
Aside from these minor gripes, I largely enjoyed the play. The production quality was high and my attention was held the entire time. “Polaroid Stories” will be open for your visit until Saturday, March 20, and I highly recommend considering a viewing before the doors close at the Eagle Ballroom.
For more information, see: https://www.bozemanactorstheatre.org/current-season/2019/polaroid-stories-by-naomi-iizuka.