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Saturday, September 30, 2023

Life + Arts

Never a dull moment in Kaiser’s ‘Now This’

Actors Benjamin Reed and Samuel Brown III take the stage in the world premiere of ‘Now This,’ written by Scott Kaiser and directed by Sara Becker. | Photo by Pin Lim, courtesy of UH School of Theatre and Dance

“Now This,” shouts the narrator to the audience as the lights of the theater dim and the first fragments of the play’s intricate storyline began to unfold. The audience’s attention is captured by the interesting and engaging blocking of the characters on the stage.

And as the story continues, audience members are bound to be pulled into the world of Joey Adderall and his fellow characters by the engaging the technical design of the production and the intriguing monologues of each character.

The play “Now This” by Scott Kaiser is an awe-inspiring and eye-opening piece that challenges the norms of the American way of life while managing to entertain and even humor its audience.

The play tells the story of characters like Adderall, dealing with the numerous curve balls that life has hurled his way. Amy Clearblue, Joey’s girlfriend, is dealing with the issues that surround an unplanned pregnancy and his mother Purelle Swiffer can barely function due to her obsession with germs. Amana McNugget is a woman who’s venturing out into the world of dating and facing the issues of self-image that come with it. Those are only a few characters.

Each character has their own story to tell, and with 62 characters, there is someone that everyone can relate to in the play.

The cast does a wonderful job of playing multiple characters, making each character different and unique in its own way.

Many characters are given their own creative monologues where they address their plight, which in some way ties into issues facing American culture.

The play will make audiences feel immersed not only because of the caliber of acting skills that the cast displays, but also because of the submersing projections used throughout the production.

The usefulness and appropriateness of the projections are what make them interesting. Their ability to support the imagery of the play like no other prop or display could is what makes them necessary.

The projection technology in the play gives it a real life, outside-the-theatre feel uncommon of stage productions.

The plot of the play is different from that of any other.

The storyline doesn’t follow any one character, but instead uses each character to continue a line of thought and to lead into the next segment of the story. Also, the play features a narrator whose presence is known but not constant.

The narrator does a good job of lending to the plot and using his narration to enhance the action taking place on stage and not take away from it.

Ultimately, the narrator, or ‘First Voice,’ serves as guide for the audience and is there to ensure that the progression of the plot is continuous and not stagnant. For this reason, there is never a dull moment in the play and the audience is continuously and completely engaged by the character and the story they all have a part in telling.

“Now This” is a play that chronicles the issues of our time and challenges its audience to contemplate those issues and the cost that our culture has on human life.

Scott Kaiser did an excellent job of creating various characters who appeal to a wide range of people, then using those characters to create an interesting and unique plot.

“Now This” is a play that most people can enjoy — and most importantly, it is a play that will give every audience member something to take away from its story.

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