Local Theatre Fix

Austin playwright creates a burning relationship that rises from flames in Agnes and Alfred

Austin playwright creates a burning relationship that rises from flames in Agnes and Alfred

He’s a commitment-phobe. She can’t help but burn everyone in her midst, including herself. Their names: Alfred and Agnes. All of Austin is invited to witness their dysfunction at The Off Center Theatre through the end of October.

Austin-based playwright Steve Moore paints his play with explosive yet realistic colors, highlighting the potential magic and misery when two irreversibly flawed people fall into a warped romance.

The world premier of the show features local actors Thomas Graves and Hannah Kenah in the title roles. With direction from Carlos Trevino, they have knitted a complex, intimate and specific relationship that is a joy to watch, even as it unearths the uncertainty and frailty of human nature.

The play begins with Agnes and Alfred when they first meet each other in a fire shelter after their homes are destroyed in an Oregon fire. As their friendship and romance develops, the audience is escorted to various sets within The Off Center, peering into the snippets of their lives.

The lived-in-ness of the space and sets offer authenticity and life, almost as if the audience is witnessing the couple’s crossfire as their children, hoping Mommy and Daddy will work it out in the end.

This locally written and produced show packs an emotional punch and is told poignantly with two irreverent and unsophisticated protagonists. It’s got an Austin-edge but remains naturalistic and firmly based in reality.

Agnes and Alfred was produced by the Physical Plant Theatre at The Off Center at 2211 Hidalgo St. in Austin, TX. All performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday-Sundays; the final performance is Saturday, Oct. 27.