I walked past the hustle and bustle of Pub Bricco's Thursday night crowd where None too Fragile Theater company finds its home in the back of the busy restaurant. It's a perfect set-up as theatergoers can grab a bite to eat and a drink before viewing one of the company's latest plays. The space was small and cozy, and on this particular night, only ten of us came out to see "On an Average Day" by John Kolvenback.
The stage was a kitchen crowded with newspapers that covered the stove and surrounded the refrigerator. A coffee table with five shot glasses and a bottle of Jameson whiskey tempted the audience, and rightly so. Before the curtain went up, Jaysen Mercer, co-founder and managing director of None Too Fragile, offered the audience shots to celebrate just about anything we could think of as we got to know each other.
Once everyone was warmed up, the two-person show began starring co-directors and actors Sean Derry and Mark Mayo. The entire play took place in the staged kitchen as Bob (Sean Derry) and his brother Jack (Mark Mayo) recounted their childhoods and skewed perceptions of their relationships with their father.
Derry and Mayo were believable as their characters worked through the dysfunction of their average lives through cans of beer. Things got heated when the two ended up in a very realistic stage fight involving live gunfire (with blanks). Derry's performance was especially noteworthy as he displayed a vulnerability I haven't seen on the stage in quite some time.
According to the website, None too Fragile came into existence with the hope to aid in filling a local, adventurously-bold theatrical voice. The theater company aims to create an invigorated atmosphere for spirited dialogue between the audiences and artists through thought-provoking, heart-touching, and, at times, principle-challenging, character-driven storytelling.
Next up for None Too Fragile is the play "How His Bride Came to Abraham," by Karen Sunde and starring Leighann Niles Delorenzo and Gabriel Riazi. It will be directed by Sean Derry and runs from Nov. 9 to Dec. 8, 2012. Shows will be Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. Two Sunday 2 p.m. matinees on Nove. 18 and Nov. 25 with one special Monday night show on Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m.
For more information about the theater company, please visit www.nonetoofragile.com