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Crackling connections take center stage in Mirrorbox Theatre’s ‘Private’



Mirrorbox Theatre presents: Private

Through May 22, Theatre Cedar Rapids — Grandon, $20

Jordan Arnold and Matthew James in ‘Private.’ — Greg Billman / Mirrorbox Theatre

Do you ever stop to consider the connections between personal life, social media, employment and the world at-large? Mirrobox Theatre takes on these connections and more in the Iowa premiere of Private by Mona Pirnot, which opened last Thursday night and runs through May 22.

Private is an 80-minute one act that opens and closes with high energy and difficult questions. The audience is seated around a unique set design by Chantelle Mobberley that makes one feel as if the action is taking place on a screen. Are we watching a series of TikTok videos or Instagram reels, or are we watching a play?

This near-future play explores the relationship between Corbin (Matthew James) and Georgia (Jordan Arnold). Corbin is offered his dream job, with one important requirement that Georgia objects to: The company gets access to both of their “logs.” Under the guise of “keeping an eye on character,” Corbin’s company is able to monitor every interaction and conversation their employees and family members have with anyone.

‘Private’ runs through May 22 in TCR’s Grandon Studio. — Greg Billman / Mirrorbox Theatre

Arnold and James both step into their roles with sharp intensity that they maintain throughout the show, as they navigate Corbin’s new job, deceit and hard questions about themselves and their relationship.

Angelica Luz Fink (Abbey) and Aaron Pozdol (Jordan) round out the small ensemble. Fink adds drama to Georgia’s suspicions about Corbin, and Pozdol provides some comic relief as Georgia’s friend and would-be music producer. No matter who is on stage, director Cavan Hallman, with assistance from Lauren Galliart, has crafted a tight show, and the actors carry the crackling conversations in a way that seems more real than acted.

Jordan Arnold and Aaron Pozdol in ‘Private.’ — Greg Billman / Mirrorbox Theatre

There is a fine line of tension that increases throughout the play, and all of the actors bring their characters’ personalities to the conflicts. A couple of the scenes are startlingly real and may cause audience discomfort — in the best way.

If you have ever pondered your connection to others, the strength of those connections and big relationship questions, this is a play for you. Indeed, if you are human and have human connections, this is a play for you.


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