by Karl Hinze
2018 Fresh Fruit Festival
July 9 at 8:00pm
July 13 at 6:30pm
July 15 at 7:00pm
performances at The Wild Project (195 East 3rd Street)
Review by Amanda Kavaja
In a world where religion is sanctuary for many people, the modern thought-process can be a true obstacle. The setting of this play is The Holy Apostle High School. We watch a teenager struggling with his life. A homosexual student, Mark, has a crush on his teacher, Mr. Teeson, but it goes much further. Mark began to see religious visions which include harmful instances happening to innocent people. He turns to Mr.Teeson for help. In the beginning of every act, parts of Saint Magdalena’s story was told by Mr.Teeson, in order to compare her background with Mark’s. The actors gave us this parable complete with humor and fear. Connor Johnston who played Mark was truly funny and captivating while doing so. His own natural timing kept the audience with him all the way. His feelings for his teacher were played with honesty as they grew. Ben Lorenz as Mr. Teeson gave us a warm and welcoming characterization. His character portrayal gave us the intelligence of an academic with the worry of a man afraid of losing his job because of a secret fling with one of his students.
I was amazed when watching this wonderful play. The sense of hope written into these characters makes us look at the millennial stereotype of seeing only black and gray. As the title of the play is called ‘Prophesy,” this drama represented the complete opposite. It was rather more unpredictable than predictable, which seemed more intriguing. Finn and Joe were two of Mark’s closest friends. Alton Alburo was the perfect person to play Finn, due to his enthusiasm and intelligence. He gave us the definition of a true friend who did not tell others Mark’s darkest secret (again a refreshing change), but Joe on the other hand, was a big mouth. Artem Kreimer personified the narcissistic nature of Joe with great aplomb. The actors’ own charm allowed for memorable puns. Eating on stage is always a fun bit and Joe and his snacks gave the audience something to chew on – maybe that’s one of Joe’s puns.
Every time there was a sad scene lovely melancholy music played in the background. The lights were usually set in a spotlight form whenever a character was talking I liked the use of this technique. In between the acts, I found the story of Saint Magdalena interesting, in that, a connection was made between love and the consequences of such a love. One quote I remember Mr.Teeson saying, was “I love less because I am less.” I started putting myself into his shoes and realized that sometimes, people must let go to respect someone else’s wishes. I am better for attending this play as I’ve enriched my history and was given a strong parable of love. Thank you, Mr. Hinze, for creating Mr. Teeson to teach this class.