Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"What Started Here Changed the World"

This was a very interesting play based on the increasingly frequent shootings at universities and high schools in the last few years. The story begins with Annabelle (I could be wrong on the name) reluctantly studying with her TA in a classroom. After an entertaining and realistic interaction between Annabelle and the TA, we hear screams outside, where there is a gunman on the loose. Eventually, three or four other students run into the classroom for protection, and the waiting game begins. The students have heated disputes over whether or not to barricade the door and over a general game plan. What was incredibly fascinating was seeing how each character, despite efforts to remain under control, gradually showed his or her true colors under the intense pressure and fear of imminent death. As Heath Ledger's Joker so memorably remarked in "The Dark Knight", you see what kind of man (or woman) a person really is when they're about to die.

The ambiguous ending was nice... we don't really know if it was the gunman at the door or not. The video clips were also a good touch (especially Annabelle's chat conversation with her boyfriend at the beginning) but I think the story might have been a little tighter and more effective had the eyewitness testimonials been cut and we just had the (apparent) gunman's incredibly creepy video. The twist of Annabelle having a gun was unexpected, but I think might have been used to greater effect. The dialogue was generally very realistic-- I had the continual feeling that I was actually in the situation myself and would have expected the characters to act as they did. The one exception was the character of the Christian (I don't remember his name, unfortunately.) While nicely acted, his lines seemed as if each was lifted from an old book or the Bible, when he really only quotes the Bible once or twice... his speeches are a bit too idealized, considering the circumstances, though his actions are believably consistent with his faith. I wonder if he was intended to be an "intellectual" or else trying to convince himself by repeating old quotes...

The title is incredibly ironic... how cheeky, in a way, to take UT's slogan and apply it to such a tragedy, and yet so appropriate...

No comments:

Post a Comment