The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Morgan Shiver, Contributor • June 20, 2024
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‘Marisol’ confuses, fails to impress with abstract aims

There are a variety of things a student at SMU can do on a Friday night: binge drink, nap, contract an STD – the whole nine yards.

A more rare choice is to watch a student theatre production. Friday nights weed out the weak, and separate the wheat from the chaff. No Art of Acting students snapchatting during the play or opening up a bag of chips in the middle of a monologue.

No – Friday nights are for the elderly, the infirm and other theatre students.

This motley crew and I stayed in Friday night to watch “Marisol” – a play written by Puerto Rican playwright Jose Rivera and part of The Rep (a triumvirate of student plays directed by senior theatre students).

Unfortunately the play – directed by senior theatre student Kristen Kelso – did not hit
its marks.

For what it’s worth, I respect the intent and absurd framework buttressing the frenetic plot of the play. In “Marisol,” a Puerto Rican yuppie (played by theatre student Susana Batres) gets caught in the midst of a hellish celestial war waged by the world’s angels and leaving New York a nightmarish psychoscape dominated by
insane vagrants.

Heavily influenced by the Theatre of the Absurd, “Marisol” is difficult to follow and abstract to a fault. Not to mention that the entire idea underlying the show (a meditation on class warfare, sexual violence against women and urban blight) takes itself too seriously – although there were definite comedic moments (largely executed by bushy-bearded senior Jacob Stewart).

There were several moments that made me cringe at the show’s self-righteousness, but there were laughs as well, and a handful of touching moments throughout
the performance.

I can’t earnestly recommend “Marisol” based purely on content, but the oddity of the experience is enough to warrant a visit to Meadows.

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