SummerWorks 2014: The Water Thief Review

The Water Thief

The Water Thief

Juried Series

A hauntingly clever blend of cinema, live musical accompaniment, and movement, there’s nothing else quite like The Water Thief at this year’s festival. Wordless, fantastical, and existential, this story of an old man in a coastal community that finds his final remaining days on Earth haunted by ghosts from the past shows great control and poise.

Behind a bed sheet screen where the old man lives out his days in solitude, actors and a translucent whale move in and out of his life, playing tricks of light and direction both on screen and behind it. There’s a great amount of symbolism to ponder over in the cinematic portion of the show, with viewers left to draw their own conclusions about this man’s past and his ghosts.


Then, in the climax of the show, it becomes a live staging designed to look like the entrance to the afterlife. It’s hard to describe and very hard to spoil at the same time. That doesn’t make the work from creators Amy Siegel and Sean Frey, musical director Daniela Gesundheit, choreographer Bee Pallomina, and technical director and designer Chris Clifford any less special. It does everything but throw the kitchen sink at the audience, but it’s never overwhelming, allowing the subdued nature of the material to wash over the audience like a gentle, calming wave.

Remaining performances at St. John’s Polish National Catholic Cathedral (186 Cowan Ave.)

Tuesday August 12, 8:00pm
Wednesday August 13, 8:00pm
Thursday August 14, 6:30pm
Friday August 15, 3:00pm
Friday August 15, 6:30pm

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