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Arts & Culture

The Aesthetic of Waste Meets AtticRep For 'A Burden of Possibility'

Photo: ESSENTIALS210, License: N/A


Libby Mattingsley as the female lead in White

Photo: , License: N/A

Director Rick Frederick with props

Although I’d heard and read about them, it’s only when we gather for the first time in a circle of chairs on the stark stage of Trinity’s Attic Theater that I get a sense of each venturesome member of The Aesthetic of Waste theater troupe. Comprised mostly of recent Trinity University graduates, the group was founded a little over a year ago and in mid-June concluded a 13-month run of their locally acclaimed production of We Stole This at the Overtime Theater. In White, their first true collaborative effort in partnership with AtticRep, the Wastrels (as they call themselves) not only get the opportunity to boost their Facebook following by performing at a higher-profile venue, but they’ll also reap a production value upgrade compliments of a bevy of the city’s foremost artistic creators.

AtticRep’s producing artistic director Roberto Prestigiacomo, who proposed the new work a year ago, was originally slated to direct. A change in his work schedule abroad resulted in a delayed return and the position transferred to managing director Rick Frederick whom audiences may recognize as the dapper, quick-witted co-host of Cornyation, among other notable acting and directing turns with the ’Rep.

We Stole This, which was “inspired” by the Chicago-based group The Neo-futurists’ Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, played most Fridays and since the show’s closing, the troupe has not performed publicly. Their plan is to return to the OT in October after a stint at the Houston Fringe Festival. The Aesthetic of Waste’s 23-year-old artistic director Seth Larson, sitting nimbly on a box directly across from me, describes their performance style as a series of vignettes.

“We are a performance art group that utilizes chaos and beauty,” he says. “[The scenes] can be very funny, then very serious, or they can be very absurd ... a mixture between the two.”

In We Stole This, the audience chose the order of the scenes to be performed. One of them was “Alcohol Olympics” where cast members drank onstage—then continued on with scenes that included doing push-ups until they drop.

“You drink before the show?” I ask.

“We drink before the show and during the show,” Larson says, although this new work might be a dry ship.

Noah Voelker, sitting to my right, says he enjoys writing more than he does acting. The 22-year-old believes that art should strike a balance between taking oneself “seriously enough” but not so much that the message to the audience is lost. “There’s not theater without what you’re sharing with people.”

His pale blue eyes are intent. “It’s just a whole bunch of assholes onstage being self-important.”

To my left, shifting rhythmically from side to side on a swivel chair, is Alyssa Sedillo. She describes herself as the “plucky comic relief.”

“I play Mexican women and servants,” she says. The actress/comic writer is bouncing a cartoon-like plastic sword against her leg. She is the only member still in college and the group’s only Latina. “I keep the affirmative action checks coming in,” she quips.

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