‘Lemon Boots’ is an imaginative, unique adventure

Courtesy of Keith Ian Polakoff

Rachel Zink and Penny De Vera confront a shadow creature in a segment of ‘Lemon Boots.’

Jackie Rosas, Staff Writer

All conventional manners of the theatre are left behind in the final University Player’s production of the semester, “Lemon Boots, which just finished its run on Saturday. This production was directed by Ezra LeBank and conceived by the entire company of undergrads. This unique piece was performed in the Studio Theatre of the CSULB Theatre Arts building during the final weeks of November.
“Lemon Boots” is a movement piece so there was minimal speaking throughout the production. The story follows the title character Lemon, played in turn by Penny De Vera, Chelsea Brynd, Liliana Frandsen, Lottie Frick, Marissa Ibarra, Jocelyn Sanchez and Rachel Zink, who goes on an independent journey of self-discovery. The cast use their bodies to create a beautiful world with their physicality and creativity.
Coming into the theatre, audience members had the options to either sit in the chairs or on the floor levels next to the stage. Members of the company were secretly embedded within the audience, so when the lights dimmed to signal the start of the show, the audience involvement was announced and encouraged.
Each of the women in the ensemble represents Lemon in an inventive leg of her journey. One of the most beautiful parts of the show happens when most of the cast is behind a huge curtain upstage and large shadows are projected. The combination of the music and Lemon’s adventure with the shadow characters was incredibly moving.
Another fascinating scene involved the entire cast as a living room. In small groups, the cast members represented living room furniture while the front row audience stood up as the walls of the room. The furniture interacted with their resident, played by Sebastian Arboleda, as their attitude toward him turned from obedience to deception to violence in a quick secession which made for a marvelous fight scene.
With only the use of their bodies, the cast’s ability to portray a variety of topics, such as fear, curiosity and tender care was truly impressive. No words were spoken, yet the universality of these feelings affected the audience in a unique way. The lack of words left room for interpretation of the story, so each person in the audience was on their own independent journey, just like Lemon.
The combination of the lighting, costume design, movement and music made for a beautiful collaborative piece. The imagination, ingenuity, and dedication of the “Lemon Boots” team made for a unique experience for the whole audience to enjoy.