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Review: TOO MUCH LIGHT MAKES THE BABY GO BLIND at UCSB Theater Department

A series of 35 two minute plays.

Review: TOO MUCH LIGHT MAKES THE BABY GO BLIND at UCSB Theater Department

UCSB students get a physical workout in Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, a series of 35 2-minute plays performed in random order based on audience suggestion. It's controlled chaos that ultimately pans out into a sequence of really interesting vignettes that cover the gamut of emotions, offering brief moments of joy, despondency, and humorous absurdity. The cast is a group of players that function as a true ensemble, all matching each other's physical and emotional energy and enthusiasm for this unique play experience.

From before you even walk into the theater, this play is a whole ordeal. It begins with the choice each audience member makes to be a potential "victim" in the participatory aspect of the production. Choose the red nametag if you don't want to be singled out, but for those who don't mind the potential for light embarrassment, choose the green nametag and sit in the front row. You may not be chosen, but you may find yourself in the middle of the action!

The plays are numbered and printed on pieces of paper strung up over the stage (but just too high to grab without a healthy jump). The audience yells out a number, each of which is assigned with one of the 35 play, and the assistant stage manager yells "go!" The ensemble scrambles into formation for the selected play, and action commences. When the play is over, the assistant stage manager yells "curtain" and the audience yells out another play number. There's a clock on the wall counting down the 70 minutes, adding the extra level of drama as the players race the timer.

The actual plays within the production are fun, too, and utilize props and lights to create metaphoric images against the a plain stage, showing the cleverness of representational theatre games. It's an entertaining and approachable show, and director Michael Bernard has done a great job preparing these students for a dramatic experience that, even though the plays are all staged, has a certain improvisational energy to it.

Featuring: Frances Domingos, Andalyn Honselaar, William Huffaker, Taylor Kirk, Cyrus Roberts, Michael Seitz, Hailey Turner, Angel Villalobos. Check this show out at the Performing Arts Theater on campus November 9-10 at 7 p.m.; Novermber 12-13 at 7 p.m.; or November 13-14 at 1 p.m.




From This Author - Maggie Yates

Writer, editor, and arts critic based in Santa Barbara, California. Studied theater at UC Berkeley and writing at the read more about this author)


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