‘Marisol’ confuses, fails to impress with abstract aims

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There are a variety of things a student at SMU can do on a Friday night: binge drink, nap, contract an STD – the whole nine yards.

A more rare choice is to watch a student theatre production. Friday nights weed out the weak, and separate the wheat from the chaff. No Art of Acting students snapchatting during the play or opening up a bag of chips in the middle of a monologue.

No – Friday nights are for the elderly, the infirm and other theatre students.

This motley crew and I stayed in Friday night to watch “Marisol” – a play written by Puerto Rican playwright Jose Rivera and part of The Rep (a triumvirate of student plays directed by senior theatre students).

Unfortunately the play – directed by senior theatre student Kristen Kelso – did not hit
its marks.

For what it’s worth, I respect the intent and absurd framework buttressing the frenetic plot of the play. In “Marisol,” a Puerto Rican yuppie (played by theatre student Susana Batres) gets caught in the midst of a hellish celestial war waged by the world’s angels and leaving New York a nightmarish psychoscape dominated by
insane vagrants.

Heavily influenced by the Theatre of the Absurd, “Marisol” is difficult to follow and abstract to a fault. Not to mention that the entire idea underlying the show (a meditation on class warfare, sexual violence against women and urban blight) takes itself too seriously – although there were definite comedic moments (largely executed by bushy-bearded senior Jacob Stewart).

There were several moments that made me cringe at the show’s self-righteousness, but there were laughs as well, and a handful of touching moments throughout
the performance.

I can’t earnestly recommend “Marisol” based purely on content, but the oddity of the experience is enough to warrant a visit to Meadows.

3 recommended
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