But though the show is enhanced by effective theatrics, the production is propelled largely by Williams's mature portrayal. On stage for virtually the entire drama, the young actor runs the gamut of emotions, from quiet, sensitive moments with Worster to episodes of sheer terror while serving as rat bait. In between, we identify with his well-crafted portrait of a man who can't bear to abandon the truth that he sees in front of him in favor of the totalitarian state's lies. Even as the word "victory" is chanted louder and louder throughout the theater (in direct antithesis to what happens to our hero), we know that both Winston and Williams have fought their respective good fights--battles made possible by Freeland's imaginative efforts.
Eighty Four, through November 29 at the LIDA Project Experimental Theatre, 80 South Cherokee Street, 293-9193.