Finally, there’s a theater production for those with short attention spans.
“Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind,” an ensemble experiment by Greg Allen, was brought to CCHS for the nights of March 7 and March 8. Performed by the Advanced Acting class, the show presented a unique opportunity for the audience to customize their viewing experience.
By calling out numbers corresponding to plays listed on the back of the program, the audience members could choose which play was performed next. A stopwatch was also projected onto the screens above the stage, holding the cast accountable for keeping the 30 plays under 60 minutes. The hosts explained that, if they didn’t finish in time, the remaining plays would have to be performed all at once. The shouts, the energy of the hosts and the ticking timer added a level of excitement to the show that’s rare to find in other high school productions.
In addition to the production itself using a creative concept, some of the plays were very clever. In one play, restaurant patrons could be seen ordering dysfunctional lives from a menu. Some of the items they selected included “intolerant conservative in-laws” and “one son… on drugs.”
The shouts, the energy of the hosts and the ticking timer added a level of excitement to the show that’s rare to find in other high school productions.
The props in this particular play included folding metal chairs, a table and restaurant menus that were actually just programs of the production. Though the sets were incredibly simple— and sometimes involved a completely bare stage— they proved effective, allowing the bizarre script and the talent of the actors to be the focus of the night. And, considering the props had to be moved on and off stage every few minutes, the crew can’t be put at fault.
Yet, some of the most successful plays seemed to rely purely on shock value. In play 20, called “What I Assume People Think I Do When I Tell Them I’m a Performance Artist,” Alexander Brower could be seen on his knees, ripping his shirt from his chest and yelling “Mommy!” It had the audience in stitches, but no one seemed to understand why they were laughing or what the premise of the play actually was.
Sometimes, the play was over before the audience could even discern what it was about. A few of the plays lasted no more than 20 seconds. In play five, “There is No Dog,” a light was shown on the empty stage for a moment or two. Then, the curtain was called.
The hosts— Matt Davila, Danilo Deluca, Olivia Fantacone and Daniel Ramirez— were undeniably the highlight of the show.
Despite the confusion that the show caused at times, it also highlighted the knack some CCHS students have for entertainment. The hosts— Matt Davila, Danilo Deluca, Olivia Fantacone and Daniel Ramirez— were undeniably the highlight of the show. They could be seen running on stage while another rode piggy-back, breathless but still enthusiastic about having the audience call out numbers from the “Play Menu.” Their banter and interactions with the audience elevated the production to new heights, never allowing for a dull moment in between the plays.
The talent of the cast didn’t go unrecognized, either. One standout actress from the production was Chloe Zacca, who mastered expressions of bewilderment and amusement in plays such as “The Goat.”
One aspect of the show that could have been improved, however, was comedic timing. Some cast members didn’t seem confident delivering their lines and held back, causing jokes to fall flat and the audience to remain in uncomfortable silence.
“Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind” may not have hit all of the marks, but it brought a fun and interesting concept to the CCHS auditorium. The production packed a punch of confusion and hysterics, leaving the audience to wonder what they had just watched and when they could see it again.
- Creative concept
- Hosts interacted with the audience
- Allowed talent of the cast to shine through
- Comedic timing could be improved
- Some plays were confusing