Reclaimed Freedom: Fact or Fiction

ensemble theatre · 321 on fire! performing artist collective · Ages 17+ · United States of America

includes nudity world premiere
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Review by anonymous

June 13, 2016
IMPORTANT NOTE: We cannot certify this reviewer attended a performances of this show because no ticket was purchased through this website or the producer has not verified they attended.

What I liked

The woman who played Kathryn and the man who played her partner in crime (not sure what his character name was) were the only redeeming elements of this show. They did what they could with the rough dialogue they were given, and I commend them for that. I am shocked that they have not been mentioned in any previous reviews, since they were the clear stand-outs.

What I didn't like

See: “My overall impression…”

My overall impression

This is quite honestly the WORST piece of theatre I have seen in my entire lifetime. I am appalled, outraged, offended, mortified, disgusted, and outright sad. I feel robbed of an hour and a half of my life. The fact that some people are considering this a non-mockable piece of work leads me to question the sanity of Los Angeles theatre-goers. Anyone who thought this play was even remotely good needs to look to themselves and question why they are giving in to acting very far from truth.

I started pitying these poor self-conscious souls the moment they stepped on that stage. Half of these actors clearly have never stepped foot on a stage before (hopefully, or I would seriously question your career choice). At the start of this play, its qualities were reminiscent of a high school drama class. Harmless, extremely awkward, tension-inducing, but nevertheless, some light fun. As the show progressed, I quickly shifted from worrying about the actors (which should NEVER be happening as it takes the audience member out of the story) to worrying about myself and the jaw, neck, and shoulder tension I was quickly developing from the heinous, unrealistic dialogue, appalling acting, and a very underdeveloped story line that seemed to drag out to the point of cringing and squirming in my seat, praying that the play was over.

The actor who played Scott is the perfect example of everything that is wrong with so called “artists” of LA. His entire presence on stage reeked of dishonesty, greed, and self-interest. He, along with the majority of the actors in this play, were very clearly watching themselves as they acted, naively and selfishly assuming that that they are having a profound impact on the audience. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called masturbating. If I wanted to watch actors masturbate, I would simply watch porn – which would have been significantly more tasteful than this experience.

To be clear, I did not loathe this piece because of its nudity, profanity, or content. I live for shocking, groundbreaking, and bold art. The difference between these two classes of work is the word “art.” This was not art. This was shocking in the worst way possible. There was absolutely no reason for this story to be told. If an audience member leaves the theatre asking themselves who the protagonist was and why the story needed to be told, the entire creative team is clearly doing something very wrong. Virtually no humans were on that stage – only lonely, self-conscious actors pleading and internally screaming to be accepted by an audience as they played out their one-dimensional caricatures with no reason to exist. These pointless characters engaged in even more pointless offensive activities. Showing your junk on stage does not mean you are creating art, it does not mean you are groundbreaking, and it most certainly does not indicate a person who is comfortable in their own skin.

A side note — “Beyonce is black”?? “There are black people there” ? What As if pointless nudity and profanity wasn’t enough – why not throw in some pointless racism into the mix?? Highly offensive and extremely uncalled for is an understatement.

The racism, the lack of talent, the messy and unsolidified structure of the play, the underdeveloped themes, (I could go on)… all of these are tame in comparison to the audacity sported when, in a pathetic attempt to make a deep and philosophical comment on society, RENT was lazily referenced with a simple incorporation of the phrase “no day but today.” How dare you. How dare you incorporate and TAINT such a pure, beautiful, honest art with your atrocious falsities masked as a play. By brazenly assuming you deserve to use even a phrase from this musical theatre masterpiece, you crossed a major line.

This VERY poorly written masturbatory lament spelled out an issue that has very clearly not been solved. A story circulated around overwhelmingly unjustified nudity directed by a raging sex addict…ring a bell?! This show attempted to comment on society, but instead commented on the director himself and his unresolved issues.

I entered the theatre wide-eyed and ready to support fellow actors. Ready to let them take me on a journey with them. I left with a headache, enough tension to need a deep tissue massage and therapy, and with a light of hope that art still exists in the Los Angeles theatre world brutally and rudely extinguished.

I know you’re probably thinking that I’m heartless, bitter, and rude. I just want to reiterate that I am not the rude one here. You are the monsters (aside from the exceptions) for lying to me and to the rest of your audience members for almost two hours.

I don’t want to be mean. I have never written a mean review in my life. But this is far too sacred of an art form for someone to carry out this crime and get away with it. I just want you all to know that this is not okay, and that this has negatively impacted me. A lot. You should be seriously re-evaluating why you do what you do, because selfish actors are the bane of Hollywood. And that is what you all are (with the exception of one, maybe two of you). Stop ruining theatre.

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