BWW Review: New Wave Theater Collective Takes a Stand with THE NEW SINCERITY
Nowadays, it is almost expected that each person be overly enthused about something - whether that be a career, a cause or simple self-help guides to a better "you." Everyone is compelled to feel passionate about something, to be the root of change that has not yet taken its form; it is that purpose which we all strive for, a "sincerity" to do good for both ourselves and for others. Yet, what happens when this sincerity is lacking - when an action lacks a person's motivation behind it? What becomes of a cause when it meets the reality of indecision, of people doing things and not always knowing their own truth anymore?
In New Wave Theater Collective's The New Sincerity, audiences are presented with an intelligent, thought-provoking play, complete with enough wit and happenstance to make it seemed like we all know what we're doing with our lives; the reality, though, is a bit less sincere.
Written by Alena Smith and directed by Chris Morrissey, The New Sincerity brings the two-year-old New Wave Theater Collective to a very respectable height. With a cast comprised of young artists who seem to have perfectly captured this idea of "adulting" amidst the deceiving nature of a know-thyself creative environment, this show really makes you wonder about the state of our generation. With characters who are more enthused about helping others and reaping the benefits than they are about the condition of their own lives, The New Sincerity questions just how much truth and honesty we can handle before it becomes easier to fight for (and sometimes join) another's cause than focus on our own.
This show is the ideal mix of what is means to be passionate about something in this world, and the less revealed state of those who strive to believe in that something. It is a masterful show of desire in all its truest forms, but perhaps not in those we can easily see.
The New Sincerity follows Rose, a Ph.D. student at Columbia who is given the ideal chance of working as Asymptote, a prestigious literary journal geared towards social change. After some "unintentional" flirting with her editor Benjamin, she is promoted and given a key to the office and then furthers her influence when she becomes the bearer of good news: what is happening in the park. A social revolution has been happening under their noses for the past month, and no one has taken it seriously until Rose brings her boss and intern Natasha downstairs to interview those involved. In ways only described as less than selfless, power-hungry young adults nonchalantly struggle with the truth of how they feel towards others, what they are willing to admit and how awkwardly they should act, all disguised by their vying for the chance to cover what becomes a major news story. The plot is all too real, making us think about how much of our lives is influenced by ourselves, and how much of it is us trying to hide behind what we believe to be true.
If you're one who enjoys rationality among constant and unrelenting confusion (therefore, life), this show would be for you. Being in the audience was like watching everything we want in our world go slightly askew. For example, we want people to be as honest as possible with us, right? When Djambo from the park comes to tell Rose how he thought about kissing her from the moment they met, or how Benjamin, set to be married, has told the office about his inability to love and believe in such an absurd concept, we wonder how far these ideal principles can go. I think to write about something that is meant to define our generation (such as transparency in our goals, our visions and/or desires) and then questioning how "sincere" is too sincere, is ingenious.
It is living life on the edge (precariously rather than dangerously) while trying to remain professional and keep a strong vocabulary. It is about teetering on the edge when you know what's on the other side but continue to do it anyway. It is basically life, in a nutshell, and the truth of the matter really hurts sometimes.
Really, a show well done.
Credit must go to Olivia Rose Barresi, Michael Patrick Trimm, Al Patrick Jo and Jenna Kray for a very entertaining and perfectly constructed performance. Ida Biering as Assistant Director, Wes Richter on Light Design/Technical Direction and Matthew Hacker as Assistant Lighting Designer also did a wonderful job in bringing this story to life.
The New Sincerity held performances from November 17th thru November 19th at the Nubox Theater (John DeSotelle Studio), located at 300 West 43rd Street. Please visit http://newwavetheatercollective.com/ to learn more about the New Wave Theater Collective, and also http://www.desotellestudio.com/ to see what exciting opportunities are available to you as an actor, student or lover of all things drama.
Photo Credit: New Wave Theater Collective