'True + False' has answers
BY JACKIE DEMALINE | JDEMALINE@ENQUIRER.COM
“The only person I really hate is my older sister.”

“I’m directly related to two Filipino presidents.”

“I once lived with a man who believed I was plotting to kill him.”

“I had a two-foot tapeworm.”

“When I was in eighth grade I had a fistfight with y teacher over my midterm grade.”

“Fringe shows housed in the Contemporary Arts Center are usually a good bet.”

True?

False?

Not only is that the question, we get to vote on the answer in the slyly satisfying “True + False,” which, by the way, makes the final statement above true – Fringe shows performed in the CAC’s black box are usually a very good bet.
The Contemporary Arts Center space is generally reserved for dance and for multimedia work.

“True + False” is a high-tech entry. Seventeen video screens are contained in an industrial-style console at center stage and a few dozen wires connect to a long table filled with console, laptops and video camera overseen by a trio of techies.
The concept is simple. One by one, the able and attractive cast members come to a desk at microphone at center stage and tell a story, 12 in all. Most of them have two stories, one of which is true. At the end of each, the audience votes True or False.

Without ever addressing the subject of perception (and mis-perception) directly, ‘True + False” has a great deal to say about our ability to discern what is real.

At the end of the opening performance, the audience was right three times and wrong nine. (Producing company Big Picture Group doesn’t get into specifics about which is which, but promises the correct answers will be online at their Web site after they are safely out of town.)

I think our poor performance that night is because Cincinnatians are very nice and want to believe the best about people, and maybe are suspicious of tales that are utterly preposterous which makes our community a very nice place to live but leaves us open to getting snookered. Think about that.

The way the stories are fashioned, the degree and choice of detail, the way they are performed and the supporting video all contribute to an inclination or disinclination to believe. You’d think Big Picture Group had interned at a marketing firm spinning political candidates, they’re so adept at leading viewers where they want them to go.

As Cincinnati’s smaller theaters experiment more and more with video and leave us wondering what the big deal is – “True + False” demonstrates how video can support and enrich a production. It can be simple, like many views of dirt which suggests where a non-equestrian aboard an unruly stallion may soon be going, to complex, as Allan Aquino-Quiaoit lectures on the cutural history of Filipinos.
“True + False” is a must-see for the region’s ambitious young theater artists you need to be aware of and inspired by sophisticated work, as well as for audiences who are delighted by intelligent engagement.