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This time is for you

Time Against Time, conceived and directed by Marilyn Arsem, with Joan Gale, Roberta Germer, Lauri Liverman. Playing at Mobius, 354 Congress Street, 542-7416, 8pm, Thursdays through Saturdays, through March 16. $6.00

"Two thousand, six hundred and twenty-nine... Two thousand, six hundred and thirty... Two thousand, six hundred and thirty one..."

It begins as the audience walks into the performance space. The space is a large, black room, dimly lit. In the center of the room are twenty-five orange swivel chairs. In the corner of the room is a widow knitting a net and counting:

"Two thousand, six hundred and thirty five... Two thousand, six hundred and thirty six."

As the lights come up, two women enter two different sets on opposite sides of the space. One woman is thirty, the other fifty. Each sets an alarm clock to ring in 90 minutes and a kitchen timer to ring in five. Then they both start talking -- at the same time. And in the corner, the widow continues to knit.

"Two thousand, six hundred and forty... Two thousand, six hundred and forty one..."

Time Against Time investigates the way in which we plan and spend our time. The two monologues analyze these questions both directly and indirectly. They examinedifferent kinds of relationships to time, and different kinds of times. Each actressmust decide how to spend her time on stage, and each viewer must decide which of the three actresses to pay attention to. "No audience member will be able to see the entire performance," says the press notice. It's true.

"Two thousand, six hundred and ninety seven... Two thousand, six hundred and ninety eight..."

Time Against Time is a series of five minute segments. At the beginning of each segment, each actress explains what she is going to be doing for the next five minutes and sets a kitchen timer. Five minutes later, the timer goes off, marking the end of the segment. During these segments, the actresses talk about their lives and the way they spend their time, they cook meals, read letters, telephone their friends, and engage in other time consuming activities.

"Two thousand, seven hundred and fifteen... Two thousand, seven hundred and sixteen... Two thousand, seven hundred and eighteen..."

There are a lot of garnishing touches to the artwork: voices backstage, entrances and exits of auxiliary players, popcorn, apples, notes, and a sleeping body. Telephones ring, food is prepared, finances are settled, and it all really happens, not just on stage, but in reality.

"Two thousand, seven hundred and eighty seven... Two thousand, seven hundred and eighty eight... Two thousand, seven hundred and eighty nine..."

Time Against Time will only be performed nine times; only 225 people will see the show. Reservations are a must, and the performance is a must see. Don't put it off too long, or you might run out of time.

"Two thousand, eight hundred and one... Two thousand, eight hundred and two... Two thousand, eight hundred and three..."

Simson L. Garfinkel->