I’m not a theatre critic and should know better than to even pretend to try; however, inexperience has never stopped me before and everyone knows that if I want to say something I’m going to say it.
Last night’s performance of “Under The Influence” was four stars.
When Ms. Knowles introduced the performance she said that this was a production that the students wanted to do. Did they ever! The students delivered their soliloquies with such passion that you wanted to rush the stage and hug each one because of the pain they showed through their performance.
This was a dark play often with only one actor in a lonely light. Much like it is as a loved one of an addict. I was surprised at the way this play delivered its message. The heart of this message was not about someone under the influence of drugs or alcohol. “Under the Influence” is about what addiction and alcohol abuse does to the loved ones of addicts and alcoholics. I found myself not seeing those actors on stage; I watched and saw myself on that stage. Some of those scenes were way, way too close to reality. Too many times I found my gut twisted listening to what could have been myself on that stage.
When the final bow was taken I didn’t know whether to clap or sit in a respectful silence to what I just witnessed.
I wondered if I was the only one feeling so emotional following this performance due to our personal involvement with addiction in our family. I think not. Ms. Knowles related to me that some of the actors mentioned they saw people in the audience wiping tears. One of the other resource people at a table in the foyer told me, “They should take this on the road, every student in the school should be required to see this, they need to go to every school in this city and perform this play.”
Four stars, ten stars, one hundred stars, I don’t care what number you want to put on this, this is MUST SEE. Too bad I didn’t win that huge lottery this week, if I had I’d fly every one of my readers to Basehor, KS to see this performance.