There are two major events in existence: birth and death.
Everything in between is life, and according to Will Eno’s “Middletown,” it’s all a bit of a mess.
“Middletown” – directed by senior theatre student Carson McCain – focuses on the mushy boredom of being an average person in an average town and puts the audience through its paces with a fair share of under-the-table philosophizing.
I went to the play Wednesday night and was surprised by the production. For one, this was my first time seeing several of my peers act, and I was happy to watch them in their element before I graduate.
Particularly good in their roles were sophomores George Colligan and Dylan Guerra. Colligan plays a patrol cop in “Middletown” who balances his time between choking up ne’er-do-wells in the local park and waxing poetic about nothing.
Guerra takes on three separate roles throughout the performance – a flamboyantly pseudointellectual tourist, an audience member in a play-within-a-play scene and finally the town gardener.
Both Colligan and Guerra (as well as the other performers) hit their comedic marks nearly without flaw, managing to infuse their performances with equal parts depressing irony and deadpan fatality.
The narrative arc of Eno’s play focuses on the birth of a child in the fictional in-between-town and the death of a longtime resident.
With the juxtaposition of the two events and the constant, almost annoying faux-philosophy espoused by each character, “Middletown” takes you on an instinctual act that mirrors the exhausting mental slog of taking breaths and plodding through your own personal meaningless existence on Earth.
If that’s not a good enough reason to go see a play, I’d like to hear a better one.