I, Claudia @ Assembly
When I saw a masked theatre show was on this festival, I decided I had to go see it, as there aren't many of these types of shows around, especially not aimed at an adult audience. I, Claudia is a play about a misfit teenage girl and deals with all the awkward gangliness of that transitional phase of life.
On stage, one performer masterfully brings to life the story of Claudia using only her body and four different expressive masks. She skillfully changes voice, costume, mask, and character to portray the important people in Claudia's life. These include her grandfather, her father's new flame, the eccentric janitor in her high school, and of course Claudia herself. We learn the story as we go along, seamlessly transitioning from scene to scene thanks to the precise changes between masks and we never falter as, technically and structurally, the story is very clear. The soundtrack helps the changes along and the story is well woven together.
Unfortunately, the teenage moaning becomes annoying after a while and we want the show to wrap it up, but it wants to tell us the whole story. So we wait, looking at our watches, until the end.
In short, it is a lovely piece of storytelling with fabulous technical mask work, but it fails to trigger the internal wow button.