....the undisputed engine of the show is Travis Schweiger as Vince, a twitchy, drugged-up, firefighter-cum-pot dealer who, unbeknownst to John, has a very specific agenda behind this friendly catchup with his “oldest friend.”
Early on in the production, Vince reveals that his ex-girlfriend broke up with him because “she says I have violent tendencies.” Throughout the performance (which is live), it’s hard not to keep darting one’s eyes over to Vince’s side of the screen, as though he may act on one of those violent tendencies. Schweiger is a very compelling physical performer, utilizing every square inch of his Zoom box as his coked-out self jumps and jives all over the place, his body vibrating with suppressed emotion.
Vince has a very serious agenda behind this seemingly innocuous catchup.
Vince (Travis Schweiger) is a blunt-spoken volunteer firefighter who supplements his income by selling … shall we say, “pharmaceuticals” He also indulges on those “party favors” himself– in a big way. In fact, Vince spends almost the entire running time of Tape in a Motel 6 room, unshaven and disheveled, in the throws of a wild drug-and-booze bender.
Humor (of which there is a great deal of in Tape...) notwithstanding, the conversations between Vince and Jon soon become no less than brutal, increasing in intensity along the parallel cocaine-drawn line of Vince’s increasing intoxication.
Schweiger’s brash, unapologetic Vince is indeed a unfiltered throwback
All three actors are exceptional, with Travis Schweiger delivering a truly inimitable performance. The viewer believes he will bust right out of the computer screen. Somehow, we as the audience are made to believe we’re not supposed to like this character who stuffs socks in his boxer shorts and then uses them to wipe sweat off his forehead. But you simply can’t look away from Vince’s angry mania.
The setting is one many of us have become familiar with: Zoom... We become, therefore, involved directly in the relationship between Amy (Chelsea J. Smith), Vince (Travis Schweiger), and Jon (Neal Davidson). It is as if we are in the call ourselves...This production is recommended for those who are interested in exploring the ways that new mediums can enhance or alter the theatrical experience.
With theater taking all kinds of new forms these days, TheSharedScreen Co. has discovered "dramatic betweenness" - a device that draws the audience in by having them witness a Zoom call between characters. Neal Davidson, Travis Schweiger, and Chelsea J. Smith join us to talk about working together on a production of Stephen Belber's play "Tape" - presented live as a Zoom call!
On the opposing team is Yusef Akbar Wahid El-Nasser Gamel El-Fayoumy (Travis Schweiger), a Coptic attorney who, in his own words, is determined to “prosecute this sham of a case and defend the Gates of Heaven and the Kingdom of God”– specifically, by keeping Mr. Iscariot outside the pearly gates. Speaking in a hilariously exaggerated Egyptian accent, Schweiger plays his role with the adrenaline-infused mania of a dragonfly hooked on energy drinks. His El Fayoumy has no shortage of ego or bona fide “moxie”: This grandiose ladies’ man even hits on Mother Theresa!