Photo courtesy of Drake Theatre Facebook
BY NATALIE LARIMER
On the weekend of Feb. 25, the Drake Theater put on “Becky Shaw,” a story about, “A blind date gone wrong,” director Zachary Decker said.
Decker is a senior musical theater major and this is his first full-length production that he has directed.
Becky Shaw is the story of a married couple, Suzanna and Andrew. Suzanna’s friend of 25 years, Max, is a brash finance manager, who Suzanna and Andrew set up on a blind date with Andrew’s coworker, Becky Shaw.
From there erupts a complex love situation that is attempted to be resolved throughout the rest of the show.
“I’m sure everyone has a different definition but for me it kind of is a love-square and my character (Becky Shaw) is the corner of the square that messes everybody else’s lives up,” lead actress Courtney Gordon said. “Something that the author of this play had said is that it’s easy to kind of pick a character and blame them for everything went wrong but while it’s easy to point fingers, you have to look for the good in all of these characters too.”
There are multiple reasons that Decker chose Becky Shaw as the play to perform.
“Becky Shaw kind of addresses a lot of contemporary issues, like race, gender roles, dating, and class issues,” Decker said. “It kind of shoves your face in them and makes you address them. This play is kind of a starting point for people to have conversations outside of the theater about these issues. I want people to get offended by how blunt and in-your-face it is but then be able to talk about it afterwards.”
The play includes stories of death, disease, homosexuality, racist stereotypes, and many more social issues.
Throughout the story, the audience is introduced to multiple levels of social interaction and life issues.
“There’s nothing in our society that it doesn’t touch on or make fun of, and it does it in a way that is funny, how blunt it is and how not-politically-correct it is,” Decker said. “That’s what I like about this piece, it has a pair of balls on it.”
By becoming a social statement, this show seeks to offend in the best way possible.
“I think it’s just the absurdity of some of the things that come out of these characters mouths and you’re sitting there and going ‘oh my gosh I can’t believe they just said that’ but each of those lines just show you how dynamic this show is,” Gordon said.
Drake does a lot of student directed plays, in which students can take classes designed for directing and choose a play to perform.
“The theater department every year has a slot that’s open for student directed shows,” Decker said. “You have to do this whole written proposal and take the directing classes before being chosen.”
Decker chose this specific play because of how much it is intended to catch the audience off guard.
“It has a big shock factor that you don’t really see when you go to plays, you never know what the characters are going to say and most of the time it’s probably going to offend you and probably going to rub you the wrong way,” Decker said. “Most theater is wrapped up in a nice little bow and handed to the audience and this one is a punch in the face.”