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January 22, 2011, 02:44 AM By Susan Cohn Daily Journal Senior Correspondent

Rob Melrose Paige Rogers portrays Ria in Cutting Ball Theater's production of Eugenie Chan's Bone to Pick through Feb. 13.

What monster may lie in the innermost chamber of the human heart? What is the dark impulse that can lead to an endless cycle of betrayal and death? Cutting Ball Theater’s presentation of playwright Eugenie Chan’s companion pieces, Bone to Pick & Diadem, based on the Greek myth of Ariadne, Theseus and the Minotaur, launches the audience on a blood-dark sea of lust and slaughter to explore these timeless questions.

Paige Rogers adeptly centers her solo performances on the minimalist set, first as Ariadne, who grasps at love by betraying her family and country, and then as Ria, Ariadne redux, a waitress who serves eternally in a bleak, beyond-the-Thunderdome diner, resigned to her lot in an emotional desert. Together, Chan and Rogers skillfully connect princess and waitress with a thin red string of sexual obsession and capture the Freudian essence of Ariadne’s disturbing epic romance.

Bone to Pick & Diadem runs approximately 90 minutes, including a 15-minute intermission. Written by Eugenie Chan. Directed by Rob Morse. Set Design by Michael Locher. Costume Design by Jocelyn Leiser Herndon. Lighting Design by Heather Basarab. Through Feb. 13.


$15 – $50. (800) 838-3006 or Discounts available for students and seniors. Seating is general admission. The lobby opens 30 minutes before the performance, and the house opens 15 minutes before the performance. No late seating. Thursday — Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m.


Cutting Ball Theater is in residence at EXIT on Taylor, 277 Taylor St., San Francisco. In addition to street parking, which can be limited, there are several parking garages nearby, including Mason - O’Farrell Garage, 325 Mason St. EXIT on Taylor Street is located three blocks west of the Powell Street BART/MUNI Station.


Cutting Ball Artistic Director Rob Melrose said, "We initially commissioned BONE TO PICK because of my obsession with the myths of Crete. The success of BONE TO PICK during our 2008 Avant GardARAMA! made us wonder if it could stand on its own as a single evening of theater. At the same time, we realized that not everyone was familiar with the Minotaur myth. We wondered if there was a creative way of sharing the myth with our audience, which led to commissioning Eugenie Chan to write a companion piece, or prequel, which explored the earlier parts of the myth; the result is DIADEM.”


Co-founded in 1999 by Melrose and Rogers, Cutting Ball Theater presents avant-garde works of the past, present and future by re-envisioning classics, exploring seminal avant-garde texts and developing new experimental plays. Cutting Ball Theater was featured in the February 2010 issue of American Theatre Magazine, and was voted "Best Theater Company” in the 2010 San Francisco Bay Guardian Best of the Bay issue.


A pompous soldier can’t help bragging about his exploits while his followers feign admiration (and secretly plot his downfall.) Sunday, Jan. 30 at 1 p.m., Cutting Ball Theatre continues its free Hidden Classics Reading Series with Plautus’s The Braggart Soldier. Plautus (c. 254 BCE – 184 BCE) was a Roman playwright whose comedies are the earliest surviving intact works in Latin literature. The Braggart Soldier was so popular at its premiere that Roman officials called for repetitions to accommodate all who wanted to see it. Parts were incorporated into A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, the modern musical that combines the plots of no fewer than seven of Plautus’s plays. The reading is followed by a talk-back with director Evren Odcikin and cast. At EXIT on Taylor, 277 Taylor St., San Francisco.


Cutting Ball presents Lady Grey (in ever lower light) and other plays by Will Eno, March 11 – April 10. Lady Grey relives a painful memory of show-and-tell in the classroom when she was a little girl. During Intermission, the Cutting Ball audience watches another audience during the intermission of a mysterious play. Finally, Mr. Theatre lives out the seven ages of man in a manner that echoes Shakespeare as much as Beckett in Mr. Theatre Comes Home Different.

Susan Cohn can be reached at or

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