A beautiful and meaningful collaboration
What do you get when you cross a time machine, reality television and adolescent girls from 5 different centuries? A whirlwind performance of the original play RE- al[l]-time. Presented by the Agnes Irwin School and their talented actresses, it was a performance that taught the audience about the struggles that adolescents face in creating and finding their special identity. A struggle deeply rooted in morality that persisted across all the centuries represented by the characters.
Agnes Irwin Junior, Tillie Clower was the playwright. Originally inspired by the work "Everyman" which she read during her Theater I class her freshman year, the play was updated and loosely based on this work. Gaining inspiration from the themes of morality and identity but was by no means a direct adaptation of this work.
The play had two main ensembles that worked together on stage. First, the group of cross-century teenage girls who were very successful in their portrayals of both the tensions as well as the eventual affections that developed between them. While the second group, a group of adult "mentors" who through their interactions created very energetic and humorous portrayals of each characteristic, or path in life, they represented.
The strong performances of all of the girls and mentors were key to the overall success of the production. The strong 23rd century adolescent character Ari, who was advised to use wit and manipulation, played by Paige Davis, was portrayed with exceptional clarity and skill. While Meredith Rupp in her role as Angel, one of the 5 mentors, gave a wonderful performance of someone whose path in life was to be only good and pure.
The humorous comic characters in the show such as Amp, assistant to the host of the game show, and eventually Omp (her newfound partner in crime), added a funny playfulness to a show that dealt with topics that are complicated and serious. The combined antics of these characters along with the television critics who provided no real critical insight invoked genuine laughter in the audience.
The technical elements of this show were very engaging. The play was set in the 23rd century and the lighting and set design helped to establish this futuristic atmosphere. While the use of video reinforced the concept that much of the action was taking place on reality television.
The dynamic and energetic performance at The Agnes Irwin School showed a truly collaborative effort. These young actresses should be commended for their beautiful and meaningful production of RE- al[l]-time which left the audience questioning the path they themselves should choose.