Reno Little Theater presents Intellectuals, a contemporary play by Scott C. Sickles that centers on the budding, touching, and often hilarious romantic relationships of three main characters: Margot, Philip (a married psychologist and professor, respectively), and Brighton, their dearest friend slash flamboyant film professor.
This play was done in the round, so the audience could see the actors at all times and from any vantage point as soon as they stepped into the arena. Since the audience was seated on all four sides of the stage, there were a few moments that weren't visible to everyone, but it wasn't that distracting due to the projection and volume that the actors used to deliver their often hilarious lines. The staging was very particular and circular, moving the audience’s focus clockwise—essentially in a spiral over the course of the first act, ending in the center, and then in reverse order until the “curtain” closes—by utilizing careful blocking, lighting, and Spartan props.
The lighting typically focused on the small portion of the stage where the dialogue was going on. There was no backdrop to rely on and the production was forced to be more creative in the lighting department. Limiting any flashy colors really helped put all the focus on the acting and crossing story lines, which was very considerate. Essentially, all the effects were used just as the lighting, plain and simply in order to really show off the script and actors. Such a bare stage can sometimes be boring to look at, but the entire audience was howling with laughter and could really experience the emotional portions as well.
Intellectuals was a really excellent production. Touching on heavy topics with comedy and sincerity is not an easy task, but the cast and crew pulled it off almost flawlessly. The setup of the stage and definite blocking choices helped unravel the story with great clarity.