Lee Neibert’s ‘Tapestry,’ an unraveling of the American fabric
By Andrew Becker
The Shoestring Players’ first performance of the season was an original devised piece, directed by Lee Neibert, titled “Tapestry” which cast Carter Baran, Chantel Brown, John Gibbs, Savannah Hall, Brandon Mimnaugh, Gabrielle Sassone, Kacy Winterhalter, and Douglas Yates as an amorphous investigative reporter interviewing the ordinary citizens of Allswell, USA.
On the surface Allswell is a normal, American town – there are campaign ads on television, a popular pizzeria, corporate employment opportunities, etc. – but look closer, of course, and you’ll find that “all is not well in Allswell.” At first, our reporter seeks answers for a missing person report; but the investigation eventually leads to uncovering a horrendous level of corporate and government negligence that has effected the well-being of Allswell’s citizenry.
In the interviews, we meet with paranoia, a gender bender, and sterilized hypersexuality; through them we question and doubt our own ability to move forward when facing a disabling loss; we confront persecution and learn to live with what happiness we can find for ourselves. Perhaps most importantly, however, we learn about the daily necessities of ordinary, hard-working individuals, and the interconnectivity required for a community to survive and thrive.
The play’s enmeshed and frequently changing identity confronts the audience, whose inherent theatrical role isn’t unlike the investigative reporter, with the interconnectivity of our communities and the lives that form them. “Tapestry” explores our communal interdependence while satirizing through caricatures the colorful individuality that defines its membership.
Overall “Tapestry” was well worth seeing, and I, and many others, are more than excited to see the next production of “Let the Right One In” next month.