UMass Theater Asks What Makes a Theater Piece with “The Water Station”

What makes a theater piece? UMass Theater‘s The Water Station pushes the definition of the form.

THE WATER STATION (Mizu no eki)
by Ōta Shōgo
Directed by Vishnupad Barve
Feb. 27, 28, 29, March 4, 5, 6, 7 at 7:30
March 7 at 2
The Rand Theater

Tickets
$5 students and seniors, $15 general admission. Call 1-800-999-UMAS or reserve your tickets through the Fine Arts Center Box Office.

A company of performers moving meditatively across a stage. Running water. Live classical piano. No dialogue. A sculptural set that is assembled over the space of 70 minutes.

The UMass Department of Theater’s production of The Water Station, by Ōta Shōgo, is a theatrical spectacle that encompasses sound, movement, and art. Running Feb. 27 to March 7, this production will introduce local theater-goers to a theater-maker whose intriguing work is infrequently staged in this country.

Walking through a barren landscape, 18 travelers stop by a dripping water faucet at different times, interact with water and the surroundings, and continue on their separate ways, while a person living in a pile of objects witnesses their actions from above. No words are spoken but much is communicated in the subtle gestures and interactions between the characters as their lives brush up against each other. The travellers’ journey prompts the audiences to embark on a parallel journey — a mental and spiritual one into our shared understanding and deeper connection to the living universe.

Director Vishnupad Barve, a graduate student in the department, likens the play to a piece of abstract visual art, in the sense that the process through which it came to be is as important as the final product that appears onstage.

“How is it made, and what does how it’s made tell us about the subject?” is the question he wants audience members to answer for themselves as they watch The Water Station unfold. “The audience is responsible for making meaning out of what they’re seeing.”

We invite you to join us in the Rand this winter to craft your own meaning from this unique exploration of time and space.

More about the Department of Theater: umass.edu/theater
To purchase tickets, call 1-800-999-UMAS or visit the Fine Arts Center Box Office online.

$15 single tickets; $5 single tickets for students/seniors

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