Blank Slate Theatre, a teen theater company, opened their season with a presentation of four original plays written and directed by teens.
The first show is The Wonderful Life of Me and Them. It was written by Chesa Greene. This show was about a girl who has voices in her head that constantly comment on what she does and how she does it. She is completely dependent upon these voices in making all of her decisions. At the end, the girl tells the voices to go away and let her handle life on her own. The play teaches a very important lesson that people should just live life and not be focused on the negative things. This was a very enjoyable show to watch, well-acted and often very funny. Especially enjoyable was the teacher’s voice in the classroom scene, making bitter remarks about how the teacher hated teaching. One wonders what teachers really think about when they are teaching. Greene shows a promising talent as a playwright.
The second play was titled Life, Death, and Things in Between. It was written by Rose Shaffer. This show starts out with a ghosthunting couple celebrating their one-year anniversary. The boyfriend, Charlie, is more focused on listening for ghosts with the high-tech equipment then with actually spending time with his girlfriend, Julia. Smarting from the lack of attention, Julia dumps Charlie and leaves. Charlie is alone and busy packing his equipment when his friend, Duke, runs in with important news to tell Charlie. Charlie, again oblivious to the needs of others, ignores him. It turns out Duke was dead and he had only a limited time to talk to people before Duke was taken to the other side. The theme seems to be that Charlie is too obsessed with the dead to spend time with the people who are part of his life. There was a strong level of acting in this production. Ms. Rose’s characters were solidly written, but I felt the plot and the ending seemed too random. I think a rewrite with more structure and tightening of the action would significantly improve this play.
The third play was The Garbage Patch. This play was written by Lindsey Williams. This play centers on Jerome, who is dating two girls at the same time. He wants to break up with his girlfriend Lana, but does not know how to tell her. Instead he hires a hit man, Archie, to eliminate her. Archie fails in his attempt to kill her, but Lana learns of Jerome’s plan and is angry at him. When Lana is not killed, Jerome suddenly realizes that he really wants to be with Lana. To end his relationship with his other girlfriend, Cindy, he again hires Archie with the assignment of killing Cindy. This time Archie is successful in his assignment and he hides Cindy’s body with newspaper. Archie then vows to stop being a hit man and to bring awareness to the world about the dangers posed by all the plastic garbage that is overwhelming the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Jerome apologizes to Lana who agrees to take him back, but in the end when they embrace you see Lana raise a knife in an apparent effort to kill Jerome. This show is well-acted and was had a rich gallows humor to it. The play took a great twist on reality. Playwright Lindsey Williams definitely has a talent for comedy, and I hope to see more shows from her in the future.
The final play was Sarah Goldberger Has an Intercom in Her Shower. This play was written by Aron Woldeslassie. The premise is that Sarah Goldberger is taking a shower one day when she realizes that an intercom has been installed in her shower. Her shower session leads to an interesting shower discussion with the electrician who installed the intercom and who then becomes trapped in a befuddling conversation with her. She talks about a wide assortment of things happening in her life. While showering, she falls and overhears on the intercom an affair between her husband and the maid. Her husband comes to help her get up and confesses his affair as the play fades to black. This show definitely was the most risqué show of the evening. It was entertaining and especially funny was the poor electrician who had to stand there and talk to Sarah and listen to way too much information about her life. Aron Woldeslassie’s play puts an interesting spin on an odd premise.