Friday, March 11, 2016

Review of Steppenwolf for Young Adult's The Compass

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called The Compass. It was devised and directed by Michael Rohd. It was about this girl named Marjan (Ariana Burks) who was a high schooler and a few years previous an app called Compass was released that would help you make decisions without any of the stress. And she was mad because her teacher Mr. Ferguson (Tim Hopper) wouldn't let her post something on her blog about gun control in her school. So her friend Chaz (Johnathan Nieves) creates a hashtag so that kids will bring in guns to school to show that people can sneak them in and leave them all on the teacher's desk. The audience is part of the jury trying to decide if Marjan is guilty of calling in a bomb threat to the school, even though there wasn't a bomb. An actor comes around and talks to your group and asks you questions about the trial and about what you think is just. After you get more evidence they come around again and you have a different story. I thought that was really fun and new and interesting. It felt very open and exciting, and I really liked that.

It was super interesting to be part of the jury because you get to affect the final outcome. You each get your own vote after you have heard the characters' statements. And then each group is asked by their facilitators if they thought Marjan was guilty or not guilty. The final outcome was the one I voted for, which was that Marjan didn't have to go to jail. It was super close, but I am very glad that she was found not guilty. It was also very stressful in the time leading up to the decision because you are wondering if people agree with you or if they disagree with you and what the majority will be.

There are some reasons why I like the Compass app they talk about in the play as an idea. But I feel like it really hurt people and they should have put a restriction on it. I like it because it sounds kind of cool to see what celebrities' decisions would be and also what your friends' decisions would be. They should put restrictions on it, though, because people are using it for everyday decision making and they are not being able to make decisions on their own. It is interesting to think about not ever having to make your own decisions. Even though what they say it is is just decision making without the stress, I don't think that it is fully you making the decision. I feel like this show is aimed at tweens and teens because they are using the internet for a lot of things that people never could have imagined would be invented. So a lot of people think kids rely on technology more than adults or that they are not mature enough to make their own decision.

I thought this was educational because it helps you practice making decisions under stress with a bunch of other kids around your age. It is also kind of a team-building exercise. It made me think a lot about technology and using technology responsibly. And it gave me a look inside how schools are and the types of restrictions they have, like the restrictions that they have about posting things on the internet. I found it kind of sad how Marjan felt like she couldn't talk to her teachers because none of them would believe her. That is something I kind of had guessed about the way that public schools might be, but I didn't know that you might feel that you couldn't tell a teacher something even if not telling may be threatening to people's lives. The teachers weren't bad, but (and I understand this too) Marjan felt like they weren't going to take her seriously.

People who would like this show are people who like interactive theater, futuristic stories, and making your own decisions. I think people should definitely go see this show. It closes tomorrow, so get you tickets today to this really fun and interesting show!

Photos: Michael Courier

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