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The Greyhound

Evergreen Players Latest Production Proves Confusing and Hard to Follow


The Evergreen Players’ latest venue was somewhat different this past weekend. It was an open theater, rather than McManus’ dark interior, with bleacher seats rising up out of the ground all around a stage in the center. The brisk outdoor air made me think of London’s Globe Theater, where Shakespeare put on so many of his own plays 400 years ago. My expectations were high as I settled into my cold metal seat and tried to maintain decent posture without the aid of a cushioned back.

Soon, the players came out and ran toward the sunken stage, which nobody seemed to notice was an odd shade of green. The roar from the audience was unlike any cheering or standing ovation I had ever seen, and the play had not yet begun. Perhaps these were just widely popular performers, but I did not recognize any of them myself.  Even stranger, they were all male performers. I wondered if there had been a quick turnover in the theater group and this was a group of abnormally large freshmen, doing their first performance without the help of older veterans in the group. Shakespeare’s masterpieces were only performed by men, after all.DSC_2456

Before I could wonder for too long which of the great bard’s plays they’d be doing, the large cast below me doubled in size, and half were wearing one color while half wore another. Decked out in some type of armor, I realized they must have been doing a show about a war.

After a few minutes, the actors began running up and down the grassy stage, colliding with one another in the graceful, deliberate way of warriors. They seemed to be passing some type of ball around with their long weapons, although I couldn’t determine why. A metaphor, maybe, but one that went over my head entirely. I’ve certainly never heard of this play.

As the play progressed, one thing became more and more frustrating to me: the actors hardly spoke. They grunted and occasionally called out to one another, but their words were unintelligible. The people making more noise were the men standing along the sides of the stage, yelling at the poor actors when they made mistakes or went off script. The worst offenders were, surprisingly, the audience members. They whooped and whistled every time the weird ball changed hands. During moments of anticipatory silence, as the war grew more and more intense, a handful of girls would scream a character’s name to distract him. I have never seen such a rude and uncultured group of human beings.

The plot became more and more incoherent as time dragged on, probably as a result of such heckling. I decided, after several confusing battle scenes, to take a break during one of the show’s various intermissions and go get some air in a quieter area. Standing by one of the entrances to the gigantic stadium and looking down at my notepad, I overheard a few very intoxicated young ladies shout in unison, “LACROSSE!” I looked at them as they ambled toward me, swaying in their green t-shirts. What the hell is lacrosse?

As the group passed me, one girl stumbled and spilled her Gatorade on my leg. It smelled putrid, like alcohol. I snapped my notepad shut and determined I’d seen enough of this barbarism for one day.

I am writing this review anyway in the hopes that the process will make sense of it all for me; in no way am I condoning whatever activity I witnessed last week. If that is something you think you’d enjoy, however, be my guest.

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Evergreen Players Latest Production Proves Confusing and Hard to Follow