Saturday, February 13, 2010

Play Review: "Speech and Debate"

I am fortunate enough to have at least one friend that I can always drag along to certain events--plays, lectures, concerts, etc. (Read that as me having a handful of friends who share at least one similar interest with me.) In this case, it didn't take much of my persuasive charm to sell my friend--a theater major at Cornish College--on seeing "Speech and Debate" at the Seattle Rep.

Synopsis from SRT:
An aspiring teen journalist, an awkward wannabe popstar, and the openly gay new kid in town all have secrets. But when their squeaky clean small-town high school refuses to acknowledge the messy parts of being a teenager, this ragtag bunch of misfits starts an after school Speech and Debate team to expose a possible scandal—and sparks more debate than their high school ever bargained for. Tackling issues of politics, homosexuality, and self-expression, young playwright Stephen Karam has written a completely modern, hilarious and heartbreaking look at the struggles of being a teen today.
The play was quite obviously written by and for the 16 to 25--I picked those numbers somewhat arbitrarily--crowd. Given that, I felt as though my friend and I were carrying the audience's role alone. The majority of the patrons were above 40 years old, and thus, could not fully appreciate the thematic elements that are present in the performance. They sat there silent and unamused, while my friend and I laughed to our heart's content.

I could see a bit of myself in all three of the characters; the eager and bumbling school journalist, the all-alone-on-a-Friday-night reject, and the hot, young gay guy, who gets blowjobs in the woods. Okay, let's maybe tone down the last character with regards to me. Either way, it allowed me to connect with in a way that most plays cannot. It plays through next Sunday, and tickets are only $12 if you are under 25. Click here for showtimes.

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