Jennifer Chambers directs the West Coast premiere of Andrea Kuchlewska’s fast-paced comedy, a time-splitting wrangle over the power and perversion of language. Two obsessive linguists and a nine-year-old zealot meet head-on with the magnetic leader of an “est”-like group training seminar. When Eve finds out Micah is doing “The Training,” she risks their careers, their relationship and their safety to prove just how destructive the notion of self-creation can be.
“Complete is inspired by both the language of est and the scientific study of syntax and semantics,” explained Kuchlewska in an interview. “I did the est training at age nine. The use of language in that subculture was specific and differed in important ways from the English I had been speaking up until then. This was a potent combination for me as a child—using language to empower myself, but also being confused at times by what I and others were saying. It forever changed the way I think and how I speak.”
Developed by Werner Erhard, est is a system of experiential philosophy that was popular in the 1970s and ‘80s and was accused by some of being a cult. Inspired by her childhood experience and aided by the deeper understanding of language she gained as a linguistics major, Kuchlewska constructs a fictional “Training,” a world in which phrases like “I intend to create a parking space” and “You can create yourself being any way you want to be” are normal statements, even in the mouth of a child.
Complete opens on February 23 and continues through March 30, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8 pm and Sundays @ 7 pm, except Sunday, February 24 which is @ 2 pm. Two low-priced preview performances take place on Thursday, February 21 and Friday, February 22 @ 8 pm. General admission is $25.00; full-time students with ID are $15; previews are $12.50. The Matrix Theatre is located at 7657 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (west of Stanley Ave., between Fairfax and La Brea). For reservations and information, call 323-960-7822 or go to www.plays411.com/complete.
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