Review: SFA’s production ‘WASP’
Published: Monday, February 18, 2013
Updated: Monday, February 18, 2013 10:02
The SFA School of Theatre presented a different view on traditional American values this weekend with the student-directed play “WASP.”
“WASP,” which stands for White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, is a one-act play written by comedian Steve Martin. Set in a 1950s American home, the play is a hilarious commentary on family values and gender equality in WASP culture. The action revolves around a family of four and how they interact with each other without truly interacting at all. None of the characters seem to listen to or care about what the others are saying, and only the monologues about the desire for passion and intimacy preformed by each actor revealed any sense of depth in the characters.
The one-act production was directed by senior John Lsi, and junior Austin Holt served as stage manager.
Junior Bailey Wier plays the dad, who wants to feel a connection to his wife, but views it as counter-productive to his role as the provider: “There is no providing on a lingering summers walk; there is no providing in a caress.”
Sophomore Mary Collie plays the mom, a woman trying to conform to the role of a stereotypical WASP housewife, but who questions how else her life could unfold. Collie’s character has conversations with an all-knowing Female Voice, played by junior Valarie McLeckie.
Juniors Jordan Boyd and Allison Day play the son and daughter, respectively. Boyd’s character wants nothing more than his father’s approval, which is continuously denied to him. Day’s character wants more than the life she has, and feels stifled by her family and home.
Though the family “unit” laughs at the dinner table together, none of the characters fell that they are truly understood or appreciated, and lack the means to change it. “I would love to feel the emotions I have heard so much about, but I may as well try to resemble a dandelion,” Wier’s character says. As much as they long to have the perfect “WASP” home and family, this play proves that it’s an aspiration that most fall short of.
Steve Martin’s unique comedic voice is clearly heard in this play. The witty and fast-paced dialogue kept the audience laughing throughout the play, while the dramatic delivery of the monologues served as a stark contrast to the fun nature of the rest of the play.
The small size of the Downstage Theatre creates a sense of intimacy between the audience and the actors, and it was a packed house. From the set and costume design to the actors’ outstanding delivery and timing, this play was well done and a great way to spend a Saturday evening.