|Caravaggio's The Denial of St. Peter|
|Nicholas Nelson as the forger Stanley Mansfield|
As a new play, From Darkness feels a bit long and could be tightened up a bit, but the multiple characters and timelines are nicely woven together and the ideas explored compelling, relevant, and definitely worth exploring. Who decides what art is worthwhile, and which artists are worthy of acclaim? If a viewer gets as much enjoyment from a reproduction of a painting as the original, isn't that worth something too? Fashion designers don't physically construct the garments they design (except on Project Runway); someone else makes them according to the designer's specifications. That's not so very different from Mansfield constructing a painting following Caravaggio's design. In the current age of the internet, reproductions and replications of all forms of art abound. As long as the original creator is given credit, and we all know what's going on, isn't that a good thing, to spread art to as many people as possible? I don't know, but these are some of the things this play made me think about.
As Caravaggio excelled in the technique of extreme light and dark known as chiaroscuro, "from darkness, light," nimbus theatre excels at creating original work around an interesting topic, bringing to life on their stage relevant ideas and questions about various facets of life and history. From Darkness continues through June 14 (discount tickets available on Goldstar).