The FreshInk of the 2016 spring semester is Lisa Loomer’s 2007 play Distracted. The show, which opened at Parkside on Feb 19. and ran through Feb. 21st, offered a powerful show about the struggle of making a decision on how to treat a child with ADHD.
The parents are whipped all over the place by different opinions about treatments and different drugs. While they try to figure out what to do they forget that the most important thing is being in their child’s life and making him happy.
New works on display
The theater company puts together one or two FreshInk performances every semester. These shows are entirely new scripts that theater students get to explore. The FreshInk scripts are performed as a stage reading and are only rehearsed for one week.
Since it is a stage reading, the actors are allowed to use their scripts. There is little blocking and the actors just step up to stands when they are in the scene.
Positives of staged readings
Alex Griffin, who has been an actor in two of the FreshInk performances, says, “Staged readings allow an actor to focus much more on the text and portraying their characters without blocking.” The actors are forced to forget about everything technical and focus on the acting.
Distracted is written as a play within a play. This is an interesting aspect to play with in only one week. The characters on stage are performing the story, but they are also playing the actors behind the story.
Intriguing approach to the script
The director of the show, Nathan Stamper, played with this idea by having the narrator of the stage reading become part of the story and interact with the actors. This adds an interesting element that the audience would not experience in a full performance of this script.
FreshInk performances are a chance for the theater majors and anyone else interested in theater to get time on stage with characters that have almost never been portrayed before. Watch out for the upcoming shows so that you can audition and attend.