The Dancing Plague | Right Brain Project | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Dancing Plague The Short List (Theater) Image Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through Nov. 19 2016

The Right Brain Project's new ensemble piece examines the outbreak of involuntary dancing that struck Strasbourg, Alsace, in 1518. Over the course of a month, some 400 people danced without stopping, many dying of heart attack or exhaustion. It all ended as quickly and mysteriously as it began. Playwright Joseph Ramski focuses on tensions between medical and religious authorities as they attempt to diagnose and cure the plague, as well as the way civic and church leaders shore up their power by exploiting the townspeople's fear. It might be resonant, topical stuff were it not for Ramski's overly digressive structure, which obscures much of the fundamental storytelling. And director Nathan Robbel packs so many people into a tiny space his stage images are often hopelessly cluttered. —Justin Hayford

Price: $20-$25

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