Performing Arts: Breaking the ‘Hum’

by Editorial

Theater Alliance’s latest show explores modern communication through an allegorical lens.
By Anna Storm

Actor Jon Reynolds of Theater Alliance's "Hum." (Photo courtesy of Colin Hovde)

The buzzing of your phone when you receive a text, the beeping of a G-Chat notification, the thumping bass of your iPod… while many people say they’d like a soundtrack to their lives, it seems our gadgets already provide us with a running techno-score. Thanks to the pervasiveness of modern electronics, we’re constantly inundated with sound, surrounded by our  own 21st-century hum. But what if, suddenly, it all went silent — if someone were to break the sound barrier?

Questions of communication and its modern difficulties are just what writer Nicholas Wardigo seeks to address in his latest work for Theater Alliance, “Hum.” Set in a dystopian world of auditory distractions, characters live surrounded by a constant humming noise. When a stranger arrives and “breaks the hum,” protagonists Van and Eva must learn how to cope and how to reconnect with one another, in a world suddenly devoid of verbal communication.

Artistic Director Colin Hovde describes Wardigo’s vision as “a simultaneously beautiful and frightening world that runs parallel to our own.” A love story with social overtones, “Hum” toes that artistic line between entertainment and cultural commentary. To that end, viewers are encouraged to talk about the work (and the work’s take on talking) after the curtain call — just so long as all electronics are kept on “silent” during the show.

“Hum” is co-directed by Colin Hovde and Nathaniel Mendez. The show is scheduled to run May 14 through June 2 at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, located at 1333 H St. NE. Students with a valid ID can receive a discount on May 17, 24t and 31, while two preview screenings on May 12 and 14 are “Pay What You Can.” For more information on tickets, please click here.

Actor Kennen Sisco, who plays "Eva" in "Hum." (Photo courtesy of Colin Hovde)

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