The Institute for the Opposite of Longing

ensemble theatre · lindsay beamish and vanessa peters · Ages 12+ · United States of America

world premiere
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June 30, 2019 certified reviewer

What I liked

The technical design, including lighting, music & set, were like an additional character, the embodiment of human longing. The pacing of how the story unfolded showed good writing. The two leads played a couple of different people, with different “shades of heartbreak,” which showed their mastery of the emotional spectrum within longing. They weren’t afraid to take moments & just quietly stay there & I think that’s one of the hardest things for an actor to do. This piece really spoke to me as a woman & a mother, but also as an actor. I left in absolute tears & pretty much cried the whole way home. It brings up tears to even describe this show to others. I think this would also make a powerful film, but I’m glad I got to have the intimate experience unique to theater.

What I didn't like

The set up early on puts you in the mood that you are seeing something surreal & perhaps quasi-dystopic with an AI-vibe, but some of that doesn’t quite carry through, so it’s almost like it’s a slightly different play for the second half. A slightly better play, though.

My overall impression

Beautifully heart-wrenching & surreal

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