Butler University Theatre Dept;
conceptualized by Zina Camblin;
devised by Michael Bachman and Zina Camblin;
Lilly Studio Theatre;
Nov. 29-Dec. 2
This project was the first time that a devised work was included in Butler’s mainstage season. Given the results, I can say that there was a reason this hadn’t been done before: These kids aren’t ready to make such a project meaningful for the community at large. While Butler alumna Zina Camblin (And Her Hair Went With Her, Phoenix Theatre, April 2007, which was quite good) had an idea that I’m sure was a great educational experience for the students — go into the community and interview people, mainly women, about their religions, and then form their responses into a piece of theater — the ideas that the kids latched onto simply weren’t sophisticated enough. Only the most general of concepts came through: I often felt I was watching a Saturday morning special with the message that it’s OK to be different, because we all have a lot in common! The show is also ego-centric, with each actor putting their own ideas and beliefs on display — which leads to the fact that the word “actor” is used lightly here, because, given the set-up of the show, there was very little “acting” going on. This project should have been kept in the classroom.