The first performance may be over, but student actors are not taking any sighs of relief.
The CU Theatre & Dance Department play “Marisol,” which opened on Nov. 11, brings hefty social issues to weigh on the University Theatre stage.
Written by Jose Rivera in 1993, “Marisol” is a conceptual play that follows the character of Marisol, a young Puerto Rican professional who grapples with violence and anger in her life.
An angel visits her and tells her that heaven is in a state of war, and later she meets the brother of a close friend who begins having a lunatic infatuation with her.
Through an abstract progression of events, she slowly experiences the deterioration of the city and society that surround her.
Rita Ditommaso, a 19-year-old sophomore pre-med major, said the play highlights important modern topics that many people can relate to.
“I thought it was really awesome,” Ditommaso said. “It was relevant with the homeless people and this war that [the characters] were just trying to survive.”
Unfortunately, the plot attacks so many modern issues that it often leaves viewers wondering what they should walk away with.
Violence and city problems are just the tip of the iceberg, as racism, gender roles, acid rain and genetically modified food seem to be catapulted at the audience.
With the plot couched in religion, the symbolism can also feel overbearing and cliché at times.
Despite any excessiveness, however, the impressive performances from student actors gave “Marisol” the energy of momentum that the show requires.
Jaklyn Avery Kraft and Maria Elena Moreno shared the role of Marisol, both showing their acting independence by making their character interpretations similar, yet distinct.
Passion Lyons brought a powerful stage presence to the play as the motherly, yet commanding angel.
Most notably, Scott Cooper Ryan’s performance as Lenny won over the audience with his lovable, twitching innocence and his high awareness on stage.
The symbolic staging of “Marisol” contributed largely to bringing the show to life. From the writing on the walls of the theatre to the large graffiti, brick backdrop that cracks and comes apart, the audience can better immerse itself in the abstract nature of the play.
Omar Elazhary, a 20-year-old senior mechanical engineering major, said the use of lighting was very effective in the play.
“I liked the light and the way the scenery is set,” Elazhary said. “Just by using the lights, we see different scenes take place on the stage at once.”
With these interesting techniques and relevant subject matter, “Marisol” has something to say and is not afraid to say it.
Daniel Salgado, an 18-year-old freshman mechanical engineering major, said “Marisol” is a unique show for the current world.
“Its not your typical play,” Salgado said. “They’ve taken a modern approach to appeal to a more contemporary audience. It’s dealing with themes that are prominent today.”
“Marisol” is showing at the University Theatre at CU from Nov. 11 through 14 and Nov. 16 through 19. Tickets are $12 for students and can be purchased here.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Stephanie Riesco at Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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