Last night we saw Marisol, the final play of the season at the university. Afterwards, I thought if I had to choose one word to describe it, that word would be "shrill." The performances were strong, the set was excellent, the sound, music, lighting was great. It presented a lot to think about...was Marisol already dead the whole time? Was it a vision the future or the present full of symbolism? It did a good job of displaying the ever-present fear and grittiness of a dangerous, lonely urban landscape. On the other hand, the story was a nightmare. Many of the references to God were offensive, and it left me with a terrible headache - not a migraine exactly, but from tension, frustration and anxiety - one of the back-of-the-head, back-of-the-neck variety. It didn't help that the the theatre felt like it was about 150 degrees.
The audience was 95% students this time, and many were required to go for some class. They had to write a paper, and some were taking notes. I don't think it is a stretch to observe that many didn't care for the play, and that it also may have been "over the heads" of some. That's not intended as an insult, the play was confusing, and I think life experience helps with interpreting it. That's not to say I really "got" it, either. But I keep coming back to shrill. That sums it up.
Anyway, all in all, the theatre department's performances are impressive, and a bargain. After seeing all four shows this year, I am definitely going to get season's tickets next year.