The Study

mb stage productions, llc · Ages 18+ · United States of America

world premiere
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June 06, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

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What I didn't like

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My overall impression

This was not what I was expecting! Upon checking in I was excited and concerned. A waiver to see a show, I had never heard of that before…what was I getting myself into?

This was a totally different experience from any other show I have seen before! The audience chooses the ending and directly affects the outcome which provides the audience with multiple ways to see the show and never see the same ending twice!

We were greeted with what seemed to be people involved with the show and making it very obvious that they were not audience members although they were sitting in the audience as if they were about to watch.

Once the opening monologue of the Professor started it was unclear as to how the audience was supposed to make decisions! There is a mix of rhetorical and actual questions of which no one can tell when to respond which could have been due to the pacing of the Professors dialogue or trying to internally scramble for the next line.

The first scene gave me hope for the rest of the show! There were cute moments with Courtney and Josh and I could instantly tell who the skilled talent was! It was very entertaining, and provided some giggles, that the actors had to portray beer in the form of coke, props department must have missed the note that there are no longer drugs added into coke beverages! The cast did a great job pulling that off though! Especially in the car scene with how believably drunk the character of Courtney became!

Unfortunately, I became distracted and pulled out of those moment by the random comment, alluding to the disappearing woods, and the major lack of eye contact by the character of Mona! It was a shame as this took away from the amazing performance of Courtney!

The story progressed and it was exciting being able to decide the fate of the characters! Hope began to rise as things started to get heated on stage. Then all direction was lost when Shane and Emily were left alone to battle out their hate! There was a significant lack of aggression from each character as they just kept circling each other on stage. Was Emily even mad to begin with? This actress seemed too relaxed and flat to fully express any emotion from here on out!

As an audience we did not do the best of jobs at keeping our characters alive! One after another they all started to be killed, kidnapped, and fatally wounded! You would think a scene with someone getting axed to death or a leg cut off would be more gruesome with blood everywhere!!! It Wasn’t.

Sadly there was a major lack in special effects for deaths, guts, wounds and weapons! Not just in one scene but ALL of the scenes. The fight choreography was there but where was the blood fest we were expecting to see?

I ignored this throughout the show as I wanted to keep enjoying my experience and play along! Several moments made it more difficult than others. There were several aspects that were lacking and hopefully they are noticed or fixed for future showings! I would love to see this show again, maybe toward the end of the festival or after a couple of workshops are done with it. This is a great concept for a show, this one just needs a bit of tweaking!!!

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