By Ricardo M. Serrano-Smith, Hop Arts Ambassador
The lights dim, the audiences hushes, and an ominous message appears on the screen: “Big Brother is Watching.” The play begins with a old-fashioned and relaxed tone; actors are reading off of a script in a radio broadcast center, and it feels unnatural.
However, as the play continues, one realizes that there is no fourth wall that separates the actors from the audience. In fact the audience in The Moore Theater is intended to be the audience of the radio broadcast. This took a little time to realize, as it was non-traditional, however the brilliance of this choice was echoed throughout the play. Parallels between the modern post-election era and George Orwell’s novel 1984 were scattered throughout the play as the narrator describes “life lessons” that one must learn in order to protect oneself in modern America.
This switching from past to present was confusing at first but, in retrospect, coalesced into something that addressed a greater contemporary issue. What the audience ultimately took away from this was that we all have rights and that the government, “Big Brother,” is not an omnipotent being and that we the people should be cautious of submitting to ideas we do not agree with. It was a brilliant play, and gives a lot more than one thinks they will get out of it.