Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Review of The Royal Society of Antarctica at The Gift Theatre

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Royal Society of Antarctica. It was written by Mat Smart, and it was directed by John Gawlik. It was about a girl named Dee (Aila Peck) who went to Antarctica where her mother and father had met, but then her mom died there right after Dee was born. So she comes back to basically try to see what her mother saw and do what her mother did because she never really knew her mother. She ends up learning a lot about her mother, but she also learns what her father went through. She also makes a lot of friends there, like one of her best friends it seems is this girl named Tamara (Brittany Burch), who is a drunk and kind of doesn't tell anyone what her life is like back at home. Dee also meets this scientist named Jake (Kyle Zornes) who is studying algae, then before that she meets a man who is in the navy named Miller (Brian Keys). The other people that work there are UT Tim (Jay Worthington) and UT Tom (Paul D'Addario) and this very silent woman named Pam (Lynda Newton). And there is also a guy who runs the bar name Ace (John Kelly Connolly) who has some very strange goals in life and Dee has a lot to do with those goals. This show is about love, trust, and feeling like you don't fit in. I think that this was a great show. It makes you feel a lot of emotions. It makes you laugh; it makes you cry. You get to know the characters very well, so then whenever something bad happens to one of the characters you feel very very sad for them.

I thought that Antarctica was a great place to set it. For one thing, the author was a janitor in Antarctica, so he was kind of going off his own experiences. I think that is really awesome because then you just don't get an outside perspective. You get an insider perspective. Because he sets it in Antarctic it make it more obvious why people are not making such great decisions. They miss home and they are in a place with only a few other people and they are so isolated from the rest of the world that they don't use alcohol in the best ways and some of them kind of forget what it was like to be back home. But Antarctica also makes them all feel like family. They have a tradition where they eat honey-butter biscuits every week. I thought that sounded very cute and delicious, and I really want a honey-butter biscuit. Antarctica is kind of a character in the play. It is like the bully of the world because there is nothing but mountains and snow there and it is almost always below zero. It is like a bully because it is dangerous and it isolates other people. But it is also very beautiful. So when you first see it, you are like, this is the best place in the world and it kind of tricks you, but when you've been there for awhile then you realize this is not the best place. It is like a bully or a bad handsome boyfriend.

There are several romantic relationships in this: UT Tim and Tamara, Dee and Jake, Dee and Miller, Pam and UT Tom. And these are some of my favorite romantic relationship moments. I thought it was really funny how Jake showed how much he loved Dee by saying he felt like a dead seal through email. And then he said, "I'll just send that before I think the better of it." And then he was like, "Did I just send that?" And then he was like "No. No. No!" And then of course Tamara had to come over and see it and make up the dance move "The Dead Seal." I found it slightly maddening because all he was trying to do was show that he loved Dee, but then it didn't really go as planned. I also really loved the moment where Miller and Dee were talking and he ripped off his shirt, and she said, "You have muscles where I didn't think there were muscles." I thought that was very funny. I think that their relationship seemed to be going pretty well, but then it became very sad. But then that still taught her about what her father's experience had been there. Pam and UT Tom seemed kind of like a very perfect but very strange couple. One of them barely talked and the other one was very energetic. It is hard for them to have a relationship because they were both secret kind of people and they weren't very good at telling the other person their secret. One of my favorite scenes was when Tom told her his secrets, but she didn't like his secret so it made it all go haywire. UT Tim and Tamara's relationship is first about making out, and then all about the physical relationship (the scene in the closet is hilarious!), and then it turns out it is all about love and trust. UT Tim thought he could trust her, but then he couldn't, but then something happens that makes you think they might get back together. Ace had a very weird relationship with Dee because his goal in life was to at least make out with a person born on every single continent. I think he wanted to do that because the person that he was in love with didn't end up loving him back. He wanted to feel like he had actually accomplished something. He just wants to show that he's a ladies' man, so his wife will realize she made a mistake.

UT Tim and UT Tom are basically like family because they have been on so many trips to Antarctica together. So they are basically like father and son or brothers. When you meet them, they both have crazy mohawks, and it makes them seem like twins. They seemed a lot like each other, but then they thought they were different kinds of people, so that made it harder for them. Even though you never see Dee's dad, you feel like you understand their relationship. You understand that it is hard having no mom and he had to do everything and go everywhere with her. But the problem is that, since she didn't have a mother, she kind of wasn't noticing how much he did for her because she was thinking about what she didn't have. I liked the scene where Dee was listening to his messages and he had heard about someone that she loved had died, but he didn't know how much she had known and loved him. I found that so sad because even though he didn't know this person at all or even what his name was, he still felt sorry for him and his family.

People who would like this show are people who like snow, kissing people that have been born on every continent, and honey-butter biscuits. I think people should definitely go see this show because it was fun, hilarious and also very sad. I loved it so much.

Photos: Claire Demos

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