March 4-6 & 10-11, 7:30 p.m.
Loeb Experimental Theater
Directed by Chris E. Gummerson ’12
Produced by Katie R. McNicol ’12 & Brenda Lin ’12
“What would you do if you could go anywhere or do anything?” Chris E. Gummerson ’12 asks in her new play, “Inside Out.” To Charlie Hart, played by Philip M. Gillen ’13, the answer is simple: go to Alaska.
Gummerson explains, “Charlie works at a major cell phone company, and the show follows him as he gets fed up with the noise of it all and [it] leads to this adventure to the wilderness of Alaska.” While “Into the Wild” comparisons may seem inevitable, the parallels end with the premise. This play, according to Gummerson, has a decidedly “fun and light-hearted” take on the situation.
“Inside Out” is an original play, which Gummerson wrote earlier this year. As such, it deals with themes that are especially relevant to college students. “In a world where technology entirely controls all of our lives, it’s really great to see someone write a show this relatable,” said Valeriya Tsitron ’14, who stars as both Jillian, Charlie’s stressed-out co-worker, and the more impulsive Imogen.
Gillen brings the theme even closer to home for Harvard students: “Charlie is this guy who came out of college thinking this is what he’s supposed to do, this is what’s going to make him happy. He realizes it’s not working out, and this is not what he wanted; there is this whole world out there that he is totally unaware of. It is a predicament that is very relevant to Harvard students, and the sweet thing is that he actually decides to go out and do something that might make him happy.”
The show also plans to integrate creative lighting and sound design into the black-box space of the Loeb Experimental Theater. Stage manager Brad M. McMullen ’12 is especially excited about the ability to “create an aurora borealis and to turn a subway into a submarine”—though what exactly that entails he is saving as a surprise for audiences.
McMullen stressed that the message of the play was to “appreciate the stuff that’s around you, and don’t get caught up in the day to day grind of things.” Gummerson also expressed hope that students would embrace this theme in a very specific sense, as in take the time to appreciate “Inside Out.”