Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review: (Calgary) The Audition

Script Troubles
by Joe Vermeulen

The Audition is a solo about a woman who arrives for a New York audition only to find that there is no one there. She is subsequently locked into the theatre, and to keep herself company she talks. 
I’m going to be completely honest here... I really did not understand the point of this show. I went into it expecting something like “A Chorus Line” which gave a voice to the hundreds of performers who are auditioning for musicals. While The Audition did begin to broach some interesting areas such as the degradation of women in auditions - including sexual exploitation - and the lack of many powerful roles for women compared to men, but almost as soon as they are mentioned the play moves on to some other odd tangential area. The main character Amy (Brit Kennedy) mentions several times that she is dead, which would be another fascinating aspect of the play to explore, but again it is mentioned a few times and nothing is done with it. To make matters worse the play contradicts itself; Amy claims to be dead, and then proceeds to kill herself offstage. When writing a difficult play it is very important for the writer to be clear what the actual point of the play is. Here, it felt like the work had artificial constraints placed upon it that limited the writer’s ability to flesh out the interesting sections with additional characters or other scenes. The piece is much too long for the very little substance that it actually contains. 
That being said, Brit Kennedy does well bringing Amy to life without making a mockery of the vacuous and almost mindless text that she has been given. She is able to emotionally connect with the audience, showing us, rather than telling us about the internal turmoil and rejection that is faced by actors at auditions. Her fear of the gun that she finds loaded in the wings and accidentally fires is palpable and one of the most compelling (and frankly lucid) moments in the entire show. 
While The Audition does raise some interesting points, the overall show is extremely vague and not very compelling or believable. 

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