“TBA”: UP Theater tackles identification and storytelling with various solid3 min read

Mago Hunt’s stage is naked, save for a faculty desk and a few chairs, for the primary play of the season, “TBA.” Directed by Barbie Wu, a professor from Reed School, “TBA” is completely stage learn, which means the actors learn from scripts as they carry out on a principally empty set. The viewers will get to witness the actors flip the pages, typically all on the similar time, whereas a stage director audibly describes the play’s setting and character motion from one aspect of the stage.

Notably, “TBA” is the primary play in UP historical past the place all of the actors are folks of colour. Casting was a tough course of, and concerned reaching out to 2 alums, Bennet Buchholz and Mia Lindsay, for the roles of Silas and his agent, Darren. 

Silas, the protagonist, is a Korean-American author dealing with the stress of heartbreak and publishing by means of ingesting and leaving lengthy messages on voicemail containers. Quickly, fortune strikes Silas within the type of a guide deal — that’s till his brother arrives at his house offended on the concept of Silas publishing an autobiography about their household. 

Forged members Bennet Buchholz (left) and Ricardo Guevara (proper) rehearse on the Mago Hunt stage in preparation for the present.

The play offers closely with questions of identification and storytelling. For example, Silas feels strain from his agent to market himself as an Asian-American author, asking, “can’t I be a man? Only a man?” 

Although the play has a mixture of freshman and graduated college students, the group atmosphere stays vigorous all through rehearsal. Wu, the director, begins the session with affirmations, “I’m stunning, I’m gifted and I’ve a secret.”

The enjoyable ambiance continues all through the session. Actors sat behind the stage laughing as Wu, who was filling in for an absent actor, squatted down in a single scene the place her character was pleading for a restroom. 

Whereas the play offers with tough subject material in typically humorous methods, “TBA” will also be relatable for a few of its viewers members. One character has historical past in Hawaii and the Chicano household Silas was adopted into performs a big position. 

The play additionally poses questions relating to what makes a narrative ours to inform. Whereas “TBA” gives no simple solutions, this central query has resonated with many concerned with the play. 

“It’s actually vital to extend the variety of the division, not solely within the folks in it, but additionally within the tales that we inform,” Ricardo Guevara, who performs Silas’s brother, mentioned.

“TBA” will probably be carried out Oct. 4 by means of Oct. 7 at 7:30 p.m. with a closing present on Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. 

Camille Kuroiwa-Lewis is a reporter for The Beacon. She might be reached at kuroiwal26@up.edu

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