By Ryan McGreal
Published July 19, 2014
Everything is connected!
This short, thought-provoking play starts with Michael (Stephen Near) dictating a paranoid worldview into a recording device to be played back by Lily. He describes a state-run education system that takes the wide-open possibilities of childhood and systematically ratchets them down to a single right answer.
Like the system Michael describes into the recorder, this play starts with wide-open potential and then turns around an ever-shrinking radius as it progresses toward a deeply personal conclusion.
This is not a criticism: the restrained emotional intensity between Michael and his sister (Lauren Repei) focuses and humanizes what could have unwound into a sprawling mess had the playwright let the story unfold differently.
The play was enjoyable while I was watching it and satisfying in how it ended, and I continued to enjoy thinking about it later, imagining different ways it could have played out.
I don't think I would have found myself doing that had I not been primed by the opening, which cleverly employs the unhealthy conspiracy theory thought pattern to evoke a healthy introspection.
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