Shouting from the barricades

“Red, Black and Ignorant: The War Plays” premieres at the Xperimental Theatre

Greg Corradini

Blessed are the rich in spirit and poor in theatrical budgets, for they shall inherit the Xperimental Theatre.

“We’re doing theater that people don’t want to pay to see,” said Jessie Glover, the theater’s artistic director.

She was joking.

No one has to pay to see or participate in Xperimental Theatre. But they shouldn’t miss out on the student-run organization’s innovating productions. The “X” is free and, as Glover’s statement highlights, everything that commercial theater – which is financially bound and gagged – can never be.

“The ‘X’ has the capacity to take risks, make mistakes and do things that aren’t typically done in theater. And that gives us a lot of freedom,” Glover said.

And boy, does she mean freedom.

The theater’s first production, “Red, Black and Ignorant: The War Plays,” will tinker with the theatrical process of performance.

The director will be visible onstage during the actual performances. There will be no stage manager. Instead, the cast will play the stage manager’s role.

“(The play) is an exercise in how we can perform the process of making theater,” Glover said.

In another context, the “X” is an exercise for students authoring their own crazy productions.

Each spring, Crisis Point and the Xperimental Theatre do readings of student plays in the New Works Series.

Last spring, Dan O’Neil read his play “McBush,” a political comedy that mixes and mashes bits of “Macbeth” into its narrative.

O’Neil said the “X” can give students the opportunity to learn how to build sets, advertise, work with actors and put a whole show together.

“It’s like taking a class. But you can’t get that in a class. So we have the ‘X,’ where you can apply all this stuff we are attempting to learn,” O’Neil said.