Friday, November 15, 2019
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The Brown Noser

I Love Brown, I Just Wish There Was More Experimental Theater

Published Friday, October 25th, 2019

It’s been one of the greatest joys of my life to attend Brown University. I’ve met so many amazing people and encountered some truly awesome opportunities. Overall, my Brown experience has been nothing short of perfect, aside from one little thing: I just wish we had more experimental theater here.

While at Brown, I’ve seen a lot of impressive shows. Into the Woods was really good, for example, and so was Next to Normal. I’m so grateful that I was able to see these classic musicals brought to life before my eyes. But I guess my big question is… where’s the weird stuff? I’ve had enough of all this straight-forward theater when what I truly crave is edgy, boundary-pushing shows, performed in a cramped blackbox venue and 100% devoid of plot. Why don’t we have more stuff like that?

Don’t get me wrong, I respect the theater community at Brown and I can definitely get behind a good old-fashioned play every once in a while. I applaud Sock & Buskin for putting up sensible, tried and true shows like Hedda Gabler. But what about those of us who want a little extra oomph? Why not go for something more… out there? Like, what if S&B did a show where the entire cast played 1 character, and there were synchronized breathing sequences and nature scenes projected on giant screens behind the actors and none of it made any sense at all? Oh, I would absolutely love something like that.

Shakespeare on the Green is all well and good, but again, where’s all the zany stuff? I understand that Shakespeare is classic, but I think there’s still some room to push the envelope. What I’d like to see here is kind of hard to identify, but I guess if I had to put it into words it would be this: a classic Shakespeare play, but it’s set at a frat party instead of old times. That would be positively wacky!

Production Workshop? So much room for improvement there. The Wolves was fine, I guess--but a show about soccer where the actors wear soccer uniforms and play soccer? Who directed that, Captain Obvious? Bor-ing. What I’m suggesting is something more avante garde, something a little kooky, maybe along the lines of… oh, I don’t know… an abstract installation about root vegetables that is not a play at all. Yeah. That’d be sick.

Musical Forum is doing a good job though. None of their shows have a set and I think that’s pretty wild.

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