In "Heistman," Heistman, played by Steve Ratazzi, and his two cohorts (a man and a woman) have just taken over a bank and secured two female hostages when they are surrounded by the police and commanded to give themselves up by a police officer (Matt Oberg) barking through a megaphone.
However, instead of surrendering, Heistman proceeds to deliver the first third of "The Heist Man Manifesto" (the complete text of which, running for three double-sided single-spaced pages, is stuffed into the program). The Manifesto begins with Personal Happiness and ends with The Fear, which he defines as "the fear that your life is a waste"; according to Heistman, it is The Fear which drives most people to do desperate things (such as robbing banks) to make their lives have meaning.
At this point, about 20 minutes into the 45-minute production, Heistman, driven by his own capital-F "Fear," is saved by the two hostages, who have somehow freed themselves from being tied up and who lead him and his two "associates" on a dance of self-peace.
This is all sort of a metaphoric and mildly interesting silliness, with ideas like "heist" and "hostage" and "giving up" laden with double and triple layers of "meaning," underscored by an eclectic sound design by Marcelo Aņez, choreography by Barnstone (which is excellently performed by Ratazzi and Molly Lieber, Eleanor Smith, Carolton Ward, and Barnstone herself), and Paul Douglas Olmer's and Garin Marschall's effective set and lighting.
Ratazzi's performance is what gives the piece any intellectual heft that it has: by turns flippant, fear-laden, comic, and dangerous, Ratazzi turns the commonplaces of the Manifesto, which are a dull read on the page, into words with edges and possibilities.