Antigone’s Resounding Call to Action
by Matthew Briggs
What is “power”? To many, it is the ability to influence. However, in the midst of this belligerent political climate, power is handed to those with wealth and status. But, what if we overlook this arrogance and appreciate the valor of our individual power? In the University of Minnesota Duluth’s production of “Antigone” translated by Don Taylor and directed by Jenna Soleo-Shanks, determined characters battle to maintain balance within their crumbling world. The profound play, performed by an occasionally mesmerizing company, transported the audience to a convoluted Senate chamber where characters accentuate the invulnerability of the actions they take even though humdrum design elements hindered the journey.
Sophocles’ Greek tragedy centers around the title character’s banned burial of her brother’s body and the repercussions elicited by her future father-in-law and king of Thebes, Creon. As the tyrannical king complicates matters between his son, wife, and the Gods, his immoral actions gradually lead him down a path of hysteria. The metamorphosis of Creon is complex because his dream to triumph as the supreme leader collapses thanks to Antigone’s act of rebellion. The most stimulating aspect of this production lies in its postmodern concept. In having chorus members imitate politicians, the play concentrated on the defects within governmental leadership, and with Antigone’s spoken anthems of mortality, themes of defiance and advocating for humanity strike a nerving conversation about the world we live in.
Antigone, played by the graceful Tolu Ekisola, commanded the runway space with fierce determination epitomized by the women of the “Me Too” movement. She gnaws on her words, especially in her hopeless surrender to the senators in Act II. It must be acknowledged that the only women of color in the play were Antigone and her sister, Ismene, played with captivating innocence by Lauren Hugh. This directorial choice lends itself to the ongoing conversation on the unethical treatment of ALL women. Alternatively, Creon, played with sustained energy by Ryan Richardson, ruthlessly delivered the character’s bitter opposition, but rarely developed his character, rambling the text on one clamorous note. One particularly engaging performance was delivered by Luke Harger playing the Soldier. Harger expressed the Soldier’s stories with ease and allowed audience members to picture Antigone’s transgressions. Lastly, some chorus members stalled the play’s momentum with monotonous deliveries of the language. At times, they sounded like talking heads speaking jargon obviously outside of their comfort zones.
Aside from the cast, Leah Benson-Devine’s plain Saharan set design with red-spattered platforms only elevated actors for sightline purposes. Above the audience, mangled white sheets served as the background to Jon Brophy’s modern projection design comprised of war and funeral procession videos. Meanwhile, Mark Harvey’s lighting design failed to benefit the story and left the performers either in darkness or overwhelming red hues during urgent moments. Laura Piotrowski adorned the cast in pale and and monochromatic printed suits, including Antigone’s filthy avocado green dress. Lastly, Jon Trophy’s discordant sound design with original music by Will Brueggeman drowned the actors at inopportune moments, especially during Creon and Haemon’s intimate heart-to-heart accompanied by the artificial sound of twinkling piano keys. Overall, lackluster technical elements detracted from the robust story and dragged audiences away from the devastating truth.
Ultimately, while the design elements depreciated the play’s evocative elegy of morality, the majority of the cast delivered the turbulent text with finesse. The character Haemon perfectly describes how power is found in an individual’s ability to “value other opinions, learn from them, and change their mind.” For thousands of years, humanity has struggled to balance power with civility, but through this play, audience members learn that they too possess Antigone’s steadfast strength. Production flaws aside, the play left a lasting impact, and sparks a new question: How will you use your power?
Antigone by Sophocles and translated by Don Taylor is presented by the University of Minnesota Duluth for the KCACTF Region V Festival and plays at the Des Moines Social Club: Kum and Go Theater (901 Cherry Street Des Moines, IA 50309) on January 24th at 10:00 AM, 2:00 PM and 5:00 PM. The production was directed by Jenna Soleo-Shanks. This is a free-ticketed event for registered festival attendees only. Tickets may be reserved through Eventbrite on KCACTF5.org.
Cast: Ryan Richardson as Creon, Tolu Ekisola as Antigone, Lauren Hugh as Ismene, Kevin Dustrude as Haemon, Amanda Hennen as Teirsias, Cally Stanich as Eurydice, Luke Harger as Soldier and Simon VanVactor-Lee, Maggie Thompson, and Bud Gibson as Chorus members.
Design Team: Set design by Leah Benson-Devine, Costume design by Laura Piotrowski, Lighting design by Mark Harvey, Projection design by Dan Fitzpatrick, Sound Design by Jon Brophy, Original Music composed by William Brueggemann, and Dramaturgy by Andrea Leonard
“She Kills Monsters”: A Multiplayer Journey for Nerds and Noobs Alike
By Allie Kantack
Whether you have accepted your throne to the kingdom of nerds or know nothing about Dungeons & Dragons, Normandale Community College invites you to join their game. Written by Qui Nguyen, “She Kills Monsters” plays well to nearly any audience no matter how far they’ve leveled up. Apart from Ngyen’s sidesplitting and energetic script, this production directed by Anne Byrd took every measure to extend the world beyond the stage and ensure that the audience felt welcome to play along.
After the death of her parents and younger sister Tilly (Ruby Segal), the mediocre Agnes (Kelly Anderson) discovers a notebook that contains a Dungeons & Dragons module created entirely by Tilly herself. With the help of a local nerd, Agnes plays the game in hopes that she might learn more about the sister she lost. Along the way, she joins a vibrant gang of magical warriors, including the gallant image of her sister. But the longer she stays in the adventure, the closer she gets to facing the realities of her own life and the grief she has yet to overcome.
The technical designs of this production wove seamlessly together to construct a versatile space for reality and fantasy to play with one another. With the use of projections, the scenery provided just enough detail to keep us on track, but left room for our imaginations to fill in the blanks. To accompany the action, the sound design featured epic battle music, amusing sound effects, and (of course) a few smash hits from the ‘90s. Complete with special effects, the world of these characters came alive before our eyes, and although it took a while to understand the rules of their world, the moment we did, we wanted to play too.
With such believable characters, the actors clearly did their research and developed distinct personalities. In particular, the actors within the game consistently upheld their characterization by speaking, moving and pulsing much like video game avatars. While the entire cast frequently led the audience into bouts of roaring laughter, they occasionally failed to wait for the noise to die down before continuing the dialogue. Even with their strong breath support and diction, the audience lost many lines over their own giggly guffaws.
Though each actors’ performance brought something unique, none surpass that of Kelly Anderson who rightfully earned her title of protagonist. Compared to the warriors, Agnes initially seems boring and stiff. But as time went on, Anderson filled this blank slate character with a contagious funk that compelled the audience to cheer her on. Whether she brawled with vicious bug bears or simply tackled the day, we never stopped wanting her to win.
Fight Choreographer Joshua Scharback filled the stage with impressive battles of both weaponry and hand-to-hand combat. His choreography allowed many characters to fight simultaneously, giving the audience plenty to watch. In turn, the actors masked their moves (for the most part), creating realistic and perfectly timed strikes. However, they also gave the play a slight Monty Python vibe by fighting with intentionally absurd effects, such as bright red cloths for blood or obviously fake limbs to detach. The audience thrived on these silly moments as they both complimented the realistic choreography and brightened the actors’ badassery.
Eventually, the cast and audience become equal parts of the story. Whether we hurrahed for the heroes or booed at the bad guys, we clearly felt welcome to participate — so welcome, in fact, that Segal treated us to a brief moment of audience acknowledgment. In one scene, the laughter lasted so long, that Segal felt the need to send the crowd a quick head nod, barely cracking the fourth wall. Though sometimes this can ruin a performance, here it appeared as an effortless invitation for the audience to step further into the adventure.
Closed with a standing ovation, this production of “She Kills Monsters” did more that present a story; it led the audience into a fantastical world dictated by hilarious or heartbreaking truths of reality. All we can say to the cast and crew is thank you for letting us play.
“She Kills Monsters,” Slays the Audience, but Maims in Storytelling
By Lindsay Koehler
“She Kills Monsters,” must have had a wizard behind it because it is real magic. Written by Qui Nguyen and produced by the Normandale Community College was a show with untapped potential and treasures beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Old geeks, new geeks, and non-geeks alike will be spellbound by it, no matter how hard reality hits them.
Through the epic storytelling that D&D supplies, “She Kills Monsters,” takes us on the adventure with Agnes, a teacher whose family was killed in a car accident. Upon finding her little sister’s final D&D campaign she embarks on an adventure like no other. Making companions, fighting enemies and in the ending fighting her biggest fear, grieving the loss of her sister.
The fumble taken with the storytelling is its focus on narration. While campaigns of Dungeons and Dragons are usually narrated with one voice, the dungeon master, this one used a whole village. At times this made the story difficult to follow because the audience could not put all their trust into the ever shapeshifting narrator.
When walking into Hoyt Sherman Place January 24th, the devil was in the details. If director Anne Byrd was a noob to the role-playing game, it did not show. Informational sheets of classic D&D monsters hung in the hallway. The program was set up like a dungeon master’s notebook, complete with all of the actors’ stats. These small details tickled every nerd pink right from the get-go.
Agnes’s fear into losing her sister are championed by Kelly Anderson. Anderson seems very natural in a role that claims to have it all together but clearly can’t tell a barbarian from a bard. Anderson’s struggles to follow through with her feelings really brings the complex character into the light. Anderson’s performance paired nicely with Ruby Segal who played her nerdy sister Tilly. Segal brought an air of fantasy and lightness to the character. Tilly is written as a beautifully strong character, and Segal lived up to the legendary expectations. Although some scenes of Anderson’s and Segal’s relationship fell flat, particularly after Andersons’ Agnes denies her sister’s identity, the relationship maintained a balanced power dynamic.
The big draw to the show was its technically heavy influences. This show is a technical dragon; it is impossible to get all the grand fantasy world on stage. Well, this production team slayed that dragon. Costume designer Annie Cady made each of the fantasy actors look like they had just stepped out of the D&D guidebook, and yes I mean the second edition. The fantasy world wardrobe was unreal, and spookily accurate. The costumes leveled up the characters of Lilith (Katelyn Storch) and Kaliope (Abby Holstrom) charisma and agility as they owned the stage.
These costumes aligned perfectly with the lights and set designs. Lights and projections designed by Jim Eischen, separated reality and fantasy, giving the real world a dull glow, but giving the fantasy world lighting of epic proportions.A simpler set created by Tom Burgess accompanied the other dramatic technical elements. The minimal focus on the set of five projection screens and small desk pieces led the way for easy transitions and audience’s imagination to run wild. All of these elements and underscored by one epic soundtrack by set designer Topher Pirkl . Filled with fantasy orchestrations and 90’s jams the sound will leave anyone nostalgic and rocking out in their seats.
Although it was said that the roleplaying game was not a place for escapism, it was. This was one of the shows major flaws. The fantasy world was massively strong, as in final boss strong. Their fight choreography and designs made this place a world the audience was entranced by. The fantasy world felt interactive with all the whooping and hollering from the audience. It felt like a roleplaying session, and we were invited. It was the nature of D&D through and through. However, this overpowered the connections of the real world. With all of the commotion, actor’s lines were lost and the start of the show was rough to grasp fully. Anges’ reality felt lesser because of this and it couldn’t live up to the heart-pounding events within the game. This also led to troubles with the real-life characters like Anges’ boyfriend (James Jantilla). The character was such a roll of the dice. Was he a hero? Was he a villain? But the most important question to ask about him was, did we really care to know? I can tell you that my answer to that question was I did not, I just wanted to slip back into the world of colossal stage fights, both by weapon and by dance. This flaw may have lost its show some hit points, but it did not kill it, which I am thankful for.
So yes, a magic missile was cast over the audience of, “She Kills Monsters,” last night. The show was a natural 20 (out of 20) for viewers. Although there were some rough moments the in this story, the nerds were victorious. Whether you are popular cheerleader, or a nerdy level 20 paladin,you will like the show for one reason, “because it's awesome.”
A Near Nat Crit
By Lydia Lonnquist
Ever want to become the hero of your own story? With Dungeons and Dragons, it’s easy! Well, at least it is for Tilly. But for her older sister, Agnes? Not so much. Written by Qui Nguyen, “She Kills Monsters” was an exciting adventure students thoroughly enjoyed.
Set in 1995, this show was action packed with pop culture references that thrilled the audience, keeping them singing, clapping and laughing throughout the entire show. I mean, who doesn’t love a demon binge watching “Friends”? At first, average Agnes is a nat fail in New Landia, the world Tilly adores, finding that connecting with her little sister is the most difficult battle of all. If trying to get a handle on the game wasn’t bad enough, Agnes finds herself lost in dark caverns she never knew Tilly had. Suddenly, the quest isn’t so much about fighting mythical bug bears as it is realizing, acknowledging, and cutting through the monsters of people and issues in real life.
The director, Anne Byrd, did a wonderful job of giving the show high stats with a colorful and impressive set, costumes of monsters and classes any avid D&D fan would rave about, and magical fight sequences that kept everyone on the edge of their seats. One element that would have made this show even fiercer would have been microphones.
With dialogue that captured the audience’s attention like a thief, there was some disappointment whenever actors couldn’t be heard. However, in a theatre as large as the Hoyt Sherman, this was somewhat forgivable. Although, sometimes actors did not seem prepared for laugh lines, and would speak while the audience was still getting over a joke. This was agonizing since we wanted so badly to be part of the journey and not miss any new perception checks. That being said, there was one moment near the end when the cast masterfully waited patiently for the audience to die down after someone from the balcony shouted a profanity after a hidden trap in the plot was sprung.
This moment was right before the final tumultuous fight of the show. The boss battle flared up with fiery lights and smoke, and received an instant cheer from the audience. But unlike the well-choreographed grueling confrontations earlier in the show, this struggle didn’t score as effectively. Overall, the ending of the show felt rushed and somewhat anti-climactic, whether this was the misrolled die of the playwright or director.
Interweaving reality with dark magic, the show tackled the issues of learning the hidden secrets of a younger sibling too late. Just like missing a treasure on a quest, sometimes people don’t put too much effort into making sure their intuition rolls are nat crits. Sometimes our quests aren’t really all about us. As the old saying goes, “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”.
“She Kills Monsters” successfully shakes up stereotypes and so much more
By Rachel Phillips
Picture a typical dungeon master. For those of you unfamiliar with Dungeons and Dragons lingo, that’s the person who controls the game. So, did you picture a 16-year-old girl? Probably not. Enter Tilly Evans (Ruby Segal) from Qui Nguyen’s “She Kills Monsters,” the female nerd anthem you never knew you needed. She is a revered dungeon master and a symbol of girl power. Yet, Nguyen’s play is more than just an ode to an often-overlooked faction of nerd culture. It is also a genuine look into family relationships and the power of imagination. And in the capable hands of director Anne Byrd and her team from Normandale Community College, it did indeed “kicketh ass,” to steal a phrase from one of the characters.
Set in a time before widespread growth of online roleplaying games (otherwise known as 1995), in Athens, Ohio, and the magical realm of New Landia, Nguyen’s dramedy, which was performed Jan. 24 at Hoyt Sherman Place, was heartfelt and empowering. Average, pop music-loving, TV-watching Agnes Evans (Kelly Anderson) could not be more different from her nerdy younger sister Tilly, but when Agnes’ family dies in a car crash, she must connect with her sister the only way she can: through the Dungeons and Dragons quest she left behind.
Nguyen’s script is imperfect. At times the jokes are drawn out for too long. Side plots, such as the growth of Agnes’ boyfriend’s (James Juntilla) relationship with her friend Vera (Andrea Pasutti), distract from the main story. But this matters little when compared with what Nguyen does well. He is endlessly clever when it comes to ’90s references and innuendo and makes Dungeons and Dragons accessible to newbies and pros alike. Furthermore, the relationships between his characters are grounded in realistic emotional vulnerability, keeping them compelling.
Byrd assembled the perfect cast to bring the script to life. Although they had to battle to be heard in the large venue, the actors from Normandale executed Nguyen’s script with the commitment and emotional depth that it deserved. From Zack Hastad’s nerdy and sweet dungeon master Chuck to Andrea Pasutti’s dry and sarcastic guidance counselor Vera, there wasn’t a single weak link.
However, Anderson’s performance as Agnes stood out. She displayed just the right amount of awkward, allowing herself to be clumsy in battle scenes and milking the uncomfortable moments when her character didn’t understand the game. She also demonstrated honest emotional depth when she expressed her frustration that she didn’t truly know her sister before she died. The vocal strain of her anger and sadness had viewer’s hearts breaking.
Segal as Tilly was a delightful opposite to Anderson’s Agnes. Where Agnes was awkward in the Dungeons and Dragons world, Tilly was strong, and Segal manifested this strength with shoulders out and voice booming as she commanded her party. But, Segal also accessed Tilly’s emotional immaturity. When upset, she managed to capture the whiny voice that parents of teenagers know all too well.
These magical characters needed a magical world, and the show’s designers created one that seamlessly transformed back and forth between reality and fantasy. A key partnership in this collaboration was scenic designer Tom Burgess and lighting and projection designer Jim Eischen. The design featured five individual, irregular hexagonal screens on which Eischen brought the world to life by projecting everything from sketches to backgrounds to magic spells and blood splatter effects. The screens could then be raised to reveal various set pieces. This made the transitions smooth and allowed the production to visit many different locations without long, unwieldy set changes. Eischen also enchanted the audience with exciting lighting effects such as multicolored dance lighting and the fire for the fearsome dragon.
The costumes, designed by Annie Cady, were also crucial in shaping the world. Her creations for the party of adventurers looked like they had leapt off the pages of your favorite fantasy novel. Small details such as adding adventurer-esque pieces like a belt to Agnes’ look as she became more invested in the game helped bridge the character’s real and fantasy worlds.
No fantasy realm would be complete without its monsters. In this case, some were created through costuming, but many were brought to life through Gabe Gomez’s puppets. In turn, they gave life to the realm. The beasts were impressive and innovative, sometimes made up of more than one puppet piece. It is just unfortunate that the audience didn’t get to enjoy them for very long as the characters were simply too good at slaying them.
Yes, throughout the play, the fierce group of women did slay these actual monsters as Agnes played her way through Tilly’s quest. Yes, this brought light to a real-life group that doesn’t get noticed enough. But, the play’s real strength was that it went deeper, a strength that the team behind this production realized. At the end of the play, Tilly’s friends reveal that she wanted to be seen as “strong, powerful and magical.” And in this production, she was, as were all women who dare to be different and create their own world.
“She Kills Monsters” rolls a natural 20
By Gabriela Velasquez
Geek culture can often be a minefield for women. But fantasy itself can be a saving grace for the marginalized. Fantasy doesn’t just contain magic. It is magic, and Normandale Community College captures the wonder of role play and Dungeons & Dragons with fantastic sincerity in its production of Qui Nguyen’s “She Kills Monsters.”
“She Kills Monsters” follows Agnes (Kelly Anderson), a relatively average woman who uses an unplayed campaign of Dungeons & Dragons to connect with her younger sister Tilly (Ruby Segal), who died in a car accident two years prior. With the help of Tilly’s friend Chuck (Zach Hastad), who serves as her Dungeon Master, Agnes embarks on a quest to recover her sister’s lost soul.
Kelly Anderson is wonderful as Agnes. She imbues the character with a fun blend of charisma, wisdom and strength, no easy feat. Early on in the campaign, she has a hilarious fight scene with a horde of monsters, and her wild swings and clumsy blocks as she figures out D&D’s turn-based combat system are endearing and hilarious. Serving as the audience’s proxy in many ways, Anderson is honest in her portrayal of a lost and searching woman. Even with her classically theatrical projection, she delivers lines with invitingly natural cadence.
Ruby Segal portrays the heroic Tilius the Paladin, Tilly’s D&D alter ego, perfectly. She’s quirky, skipping about the stage in full armor, but retains the youth that her character never got the chance to grow out of. Segal also shines in moments where the play’s comedy slows down into heartfelt moments of drama. It’s incredible that this is only her first production with Normandale. Equally fun and surprisingly poignant in his portrayal of Chuck is Zach Hastad, whose character channels the fun-spirited guiding energy of Matthew Mercer throughout. Hastad’s friendly dorkiness feels both organic and comforting, and his scenes with Anderson are a blast to watch. As he explains the rules of D&D, he makes the game accessible to both audience members and Agnes.
Equally deserving of praise is Agnes’ faithful party of lesbians and misfits. As Lilith the Demon Queen, Katelyn Storch is a powerhouse, balancing her character’s rambunctious sexuality with a hidden depth that is best displayed when she’s onstage as Lily, Lilith’s real-life counterpart. With her droll tone and slow, confident saunter, Abby Holmstrom constitutes the perfect dark elf as the dexterous Kaliope. Her contralto voice is smooth and crisp, and she somehow manages to be graceful in disco-style platform heels. The other two men of the show, Orcus (Bill Stevens) and Miles (James Juntilla), while not written to be showstoppers, were fun additions to the very strong ensemble.
Anne Byrd’s direction doesn’t get in the way of the dialogue-heavy script. Instead, it elevates it. She has fun with the geeky comedy, building on her confident ensemble to create a casual and bright atmosphere in both the world of Tilly’s campaign and in Agnes’ real world.
The biggest world-builders, however, are the show’s designers. Tom Burgess’ simple set and Jim Eischen’s flawlessly executed projections and lighting make the play feel like both a comic book and a storybook. The projections are used as storytelling tools and scene setters. Gabe Gomez’s puppets and Annie Cady’s costumes heighten the fantasy aesthetic built by the scenic design with remarkable attention to detail.
They even had a Mind Flayer. Who thinks of that?
Most stunning, however, was Joshua Scharback’s fight choreography. The shoulder-tosses are the kinds of things audiences expect to see in WWE. Scharback’s choreography is fearless and the cast executes it to near-perfection, as if they all rolled natural twenties.
The only botch of the show was the venue. The upper balcony of the Hoyt Sherman Place was clearly built before the age of projections and lights, because those clunky pieces of equipment blocked most of the downstage action. Just seeing the show felt like a battle as ridiculous as fighting bugbears.
It’s hard to find shows that capture the beauty of female geek culture so intelligently and accurately. Nerd shows, whether on stage or the silver screen, tend to be woefully masculine, with women serving only as romantic interests, villains or eye candy. But the reality is that women make wonderful, vibrant contributions to geek culture. They play critical roles in countless campaigns, attend cons and expos and create content. Nguyen’s script shows remarkable insight into the female geek experience. And with a cast as talented as Normandale’s, his work feels as alive as Tilly’s imagination.
She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen. Presented at 7:30 p.m. on January 24th, 2018 at the Hoyt Sherman Place Theatre, Des Moines, Iowa. Cast: Kelly Anderson, Ruby Segal, Zach Hastad, James Juntilla, Katelyn Storch, Abby Holmstrom, Bill Stevens, Andrea Pasutti, Leah Walk, Gigi Lefebvre, Michael Perez-Santana. Artistic Staff: Director: Anny Byrd; Scenic Designer: Tom Burgess; Costume Designer: Annie Cady; Lighting/Projection Designer: Jim Eischen; Sound Designer: Topher Pirkl; Puppet Master: Gabe Gomez; Fight Choreographer: Joshua Scharback; Stage Manager: Sarah Dorey.
"Gruesome Playground Injuries"
By Jo Jabben
Elementary school is a stepping stone in establishing an education and the impacts made there may set children up for life. A few of those children won't retain anything, fewer remember as little as the chronological order of their days, but every once in a great while an individual can have a pivotal life experience that sticks.
"Gruesome Playground Injuries " written by Rajiv Joseph gives an example of this in a way which characters Kayleen played by Hannah Oldham and Doug played by Hunter Meyer both have impacting moments in elementary school. Kayleen a girl who has accumulated mental injuries meets Doug who has accumulated physical injuries. These young children were just playing in an innocent state. But as the play continues throughout both of their lives till the age 38, both characters find themselves drawn to each other. As the play goes Doug develops a theory that Kayleen can heal him physically and that whenever she touches his injured area it transforms to its original state, and throughout the play as Kayleen develops more and more mental illnesses Doug heals her by making her laugh and enjoying life.
The audience was in an utter silence when they witnessed the unsettling moment of Kayleen pulling down her leggings to show Doug her self-inflicted scars. I didn’t experience the intended reaction due to my position in the audience on stage-left, from my view I was only shown Kayleen's buttock. The set of "Gruesome Playground Injuries" were dynamically placed. It made sense for the characters to be doing their own quick changes on stage even though there was an eerie silence in the audience as we just watched them change for the next scene. The actors staring in this production were adequate in their roles, it was odious in their acting that they could relate to what the characters went through and some of the choice they made. Overall the show was an intense to watch and is worth watching again!
"Gruesome Playground Injuries" was worth doing because the world needs to recognize that people don’t have to be just physically injured they can also be struggling mentally with issues. I think the director Adam Terry made some good blocking choices so that the meaning of the show was known. The actors accomplished their roles and the tech helping in this production aced their jobs.