For the last three Thursdays this month, the drama club/department at DSU held a performance of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. The show itself was written by Greg Allen and is composed of 30 plays in 60 minutes. Some of the plays are shorter than others, and the show ends when the 60 minutes are over, no matter how many plays have been gone through.
The last show, on October 24, had all but four plays finished by the time the 60 minutes was up. The show relied on audience participation frequently with a number of the plays either taking place in the audience or having the members from the audience come to the stage and participate. All of the plays seemed to have similar themes, though, the main ones focusing on problems that people our age face and political issues. A number of the plays had roots in issues today. For example, one of the shows had a number of men from the cast take place on stage and talk about how few problems they had due to the fact that they were all white, male, and straight.
Other short plays pointed out the problems that come with people refusing to stand out. A cast member asked the audience to stand up then sit down and continue doing what he asked. He had other members guard people with water guns and had one who refused to do what he asked come to the stage. This person was later praised for being an individual and the rest of the audience was sprayed lightly with water.
The importance of a play like this is easy to see, especially today when everyone and everything in this country seems to be heavily divided. It wasn’t what I was expecting as a show, and even a few days later I’m still slightly confused at some of what I saw. I mainly wish that there had been a discussion with the cast or director afterward so people could see the theme and further understand the issues that were pointed out. While I do understand why the play was chosen and that it is good for art to have a message, I do think that there could have been more information given out beforehand or after the show finished.