The black-box Studio 115 was the perfect performance space for “Reckless,” the department of theatre and dance’s most recent play, when its dark and twisted plot is taken into account.
From a woman who flees her home on Christmas Eve after her husband reveals his plans to have a hit man kill her, to almost every kind of stereotypical therapy session invented in the 20th century, the play’s many hallucinogenic charms worked very well in an environment that was confined and, well, black.
“Reckless” showcased many actors that were cast exceptionally well into roles that they seemed to truly understand. Senior Maggie Bausch’s interpretation of Rachel, the chatty, slightly neurotic and psychologically damaged female protagonist, emphasized the play’s darkly comedic quality.
Sophomore Carly Maalouf’s portrayal of Pooty, a woman that pretends to be a deaf paraplegic to maintain her relationship with her husband, is also fully believable, which makes her accidental self-revelation later in the play as a fraud that much more shocking to both Rachel and the audience watching the scene play out.
Seniors Jean Marie Hufford and Dana Maas’ perfectly depicted roles as the various therapists Rachel sees throughout the play range from the normal to the humorous to the downright weird and uncomfortable, putting the audience directly into Rachel’s shoes. It reaches a point where watching the play can almost feel like a therapy session in and of itself.
The sparse set and props used in the play accented the modern, yet fantastical feel of the plot. Because the props were simple—three wooden chairs, two raised black platforms, two pillows, a small Christmas tree off to the side—“Reckless” gave off the feeling that it could have taken place anywhere, including in reality—a scary thought for those who like a defined sense of personal identity.
Short scenes separated by subtle lighting changes and small set shifts also created a sense of forward motion within the play and held the audience’s interest from the very beginning to the final scene.
Even though the play moved quickly, it drew audience members in with the exchange between characters that highlighted universal human truths—truths that resonate with every person who has ever desired to find security and self-knowledge.