Code 21, Semi-Darkness, Don’t U Luv Me


1. Code 21: Russel Schneider

Code 21 takes place on a fictional locked adolescent psychiatric unit. In this version, the focus is on Sara and Rebecca, two girls who have been put together as roommates on Station 12. Immediately they are at each other’s throats because of their different feelings towards everything around them; distress, “mental illness,” the hospital itself. But they begin to realize that they prefer each other’s company to that of the hospital staff, who appear regularly to “regulate” them. By the end of the story, they give each other a much-needed bit of emotional release, and the ability to at least try to move forward.

Code 21 I have to say was an eye-opening show. It takes you into the world of the psych ward at a hospital. It shows what happens, as well giving a perception from the patient point of view. It centered around two characters in their room having very entertaining. It really showed the attitudes of patients who are in treatment wards. What I didn’t like about the show was that the ending seemed too abrupt. I think if the theater company is considering revamping the show they should smooth out the ending a bit so that it doesn’t seem too abrupt. But then again I thought the Rebecca character was so great I really wanted to see more of it.  Rebecca really brought great comic bits and was a strong actress in the show. She really stood out to me. But this show was wonderfully different in the fact that it was taking on the issue of mental illness in teens. An issue that is not talked about much in today’s society.

2. Semi-Darkness: Young Artists Council of Youth Performance Company

An angst ridden teen…
A sexy vampire…
Against all odds, the two fall in love. Will a pack of blood thirsty trackers and the disapproval of their family keep them apart?
Hold on you little spider monkeys!
(let the mocking begin…….)

I was pleasantly surprised with how this show turned out. I love spoofs, but sometimes people go overboard on them. But I have to admit this is one of the best shows I saw at the Fringe Festival. It had great comic timing. And I loved the song in the show. I kind of wished there were more songs in the show, because the song “Being a Vampire’s a Bitch” made me laugh so hard I was nearly crying. It was a great spoof of a annoying vampire fad that has been taking over American culture. I hope to see more great shows from the Young Artists Council.

3. dont u luv me: Parabola Youth Theatre

“dont u luv me?” is the story of a sophomore girl, named Angela, who begins to date a senior, named C.J.: the dreamiest guy in school. Looks, however, can be deceiving. What begins as welcome attention soon grows into jealous, controlling behavior. C.J. tells Angela how she should dress and whom she can be with. His controlling behavior, causes Angela’s girlfriends to exclude her from their lives. Pressured by C.J. to be with him constantly, Angela begins to lie to her mother about her whereabouts and quickly finds herself in over her head. As the relationship spirals dangerously downward C.J. uses e-mail, texting, his cell phone, and an intimate photo of Angela, to exert his control over her. Ultimately the show is a wake up call that encourages young men and women to make choices that result in healthy relationships. It also gives adults an eye-opening glimpse into modern teen life. “dont u luv me?” was written by Linda Daugherty, in 2009, and includes an eclectic soundtrack and text messages that are projected on a screen behind the actors.

This show tackled an interesting topic of abusive relationships in teens. I have to say the show was great, and lot of the actors were strong but a lot of them were a little stiff in their acting. The script was solid, and I’m glad that a lot of theater companies are using the Fringe this year to bring up topics that are not often addressed. It was great to see teens using theater as a voice to reach the audience. It was a very heartbreaking show to watch as you see this helpless girl stuck with a boyfriend who is abusing her.