Thursday, August 24, 2006

Production Reveiws from Pasadena Youth Center

Originally printed in Volume: Expressions of Youth, issue 4, Summer 2006
Pasadena Youth Center is a partner of the Pasadena Playhouse through the New Generations program, which offers at-risk youth from the greater LA area mentorship and live theatre experiences.

The Fair Maid of the West, parts I and II (Furious Theatre Company)
I think that Fair Maid was a really good play for those who like action and suspense. The fighting scenes were intense and was literally inches away from the front row, where I was sitting. The 1800s were very well depicted by the drunken men in the tavern, the clothing and the sea battles between the English and Spanish. I really enjoyed the play and it helped me in my AP U.S. History class, because it allowed me to create a better mental image of what the people in American revolutionary times were like. Not to forget that the play itself took place in Pasadena Playhouse’s Balcony Theater, which provided a smaller setting and gave the audience a better view and a sense of importance. The play was great and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who liked “Pirates of the Caribbean” as well as “Master and Commander.”

As You Like It: A California Concoction
A mixture of love, hatred, deceit and companionship formed this masterpiece, “As You Like It,” written by William Shakespeare. This play was shaped into a modern day love maze, produced by Alison Carey. When I went to the Pasadena Playhouse I thought it would be another boring Shakespeare play. However, I was surprised to see a hilarious and unique comedy of love. It seemed that everyone had found their soul mates.”
Gay and straight marriages are what made this play unique, as well as the different personalities of the actors and actresses. Their performance was fantastic. I absolutely loved the play and I wish that I could see it every day. “As U Lyk It” is a great play with humor, politics and confusion. I hope that everyone who reads this tries to experience the same magic I did while watching this brilliant play.

Open Window
Open Window was quite a different play, since there were deaf actors with translators involved. The end of the story was not revealed, so no one knows if the deaf man really did kill his father, if he ever learned sign language, or what the outcome was of his trial. Instead, it was more focused on the importance of language in our society today, and how it is expressed. The woman who was trying to teach Cal two signs, believed that language could be taught to anyone at any age, and that it was a basic means of communicating and without it, interaction is useless. The young psychologist, on the other hand, believed that language could be expressed in any way; there is no need for words, actions are enough.
This was a very moving play, with a deep meaning and the use of American Sign Language was brilliant. The translations weren’t distracting at all, because the ASL flowed so beautifully. I recommend this play for those who wish to see something new.

Reviews by Elizabeth Hawkins, age 14

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