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(lumin)theater lab experiments with theater

The cast participating in Test Tube 2 of the series pose for a photo. Submitted photo

Several performances from (lumin)theater lab will take place this month in what they are calling "The Test Tube Series." Aaron Henry, a member of the group and director of Test Tube Series 1, said the group initially called themselves (lumin)theater lab to differentiate themselves as a group willing to experiment and try different things.

"What better way to market it as an experimental (performance) then to call it a test tube?" he said. "It's the one thing people associate with science."

The Test Tube Series will consist of an informal night of staged readings. The show will include a cast of actors, but they won't be doing a lot of moving around the stage. There won't be scenery or costumes either.

"It's a group of actors reading a script and they're giving it their all," Henry said.

Each actor will read with theatrical effect with someone also reading the stage directions in order to give the audience a little more context about what is happening.

Henry said series of performances will allow the theater company to dive deeper into four different scripts that they are considering for next season. It will also allow them to see what the community engages with and what they enjoy the most. The series will consist of four separate scripts, each directed by a different member of the group.

"They are all kind of in our straw hat of different plays that we might consider doing later," Henry said.

Test Tube 1 will be directed by Henry. It is a zany comedy that might be compared to a farce. The script will be fast paced and lots of fun, he said. Test Tube 1 will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2, at Fireside Social House and 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, at Orange Dragon Art Gallery.

Test Tube 2 will be directed by Rob Anderson. The script is a dark comedy that Henry described as an homage to slasher films. Test Tube 2 will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at Fireside Social House and 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, at Artspace Hastings River Lofts Gallery.

Test Tube 3 will be directed by Steve Soler. The script is a one woman drama. There will be an actor reading the part of the woman, a narrator and someone reading the stage directions. Test Tube 3 will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at Artspace Hastings River Lofts Gallery and 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, at Orange Dragon Art Gallery.

Test Tube 4 will be directed by Libby Wasylik. The script will be a classical piece but in a romantic comedy form. Test Tube 4 will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at Artspace Hastings River Lofts Gallery and 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, at Orange Dragon Art Gallery.

The performances are free and open to the public, but attendees are encouraged to register online to reserve a seat. The first three in the series will have strong language and strong themes so parental discretion is advised. More information is available at www.lumintheaterlab.com/test-tube-series.

Michelle Wirth

Michelle Wirth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2013 with a degree in journalism and web design. She worked as a web content editor for a trade association before coming to the Hastings Star Gazette in 2016.

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