"punkplay" Looks at Teenage Angst
February 22-24, February 28-March 2
By Gregory S. Moss
Directed by Jacob A. Brandt ’14
Produced by Andrew P. Gelfand ’15 and Josef A. Durand ’14
The music of the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, and the Minutemen will blare throughout "punkplay," directed by Jacob A. Brandt ’14 and opening in the Loeb Ex on February 22. The play is less a portrait of the 1980s punk scene than a coming-of-age story that tackles issues of isolation and conformity. “The play tells a story that we’re all familiar with,” Brandt says. “We’ve just lived through this chapter of our lives.”
“punkplay,” written by recent Brown graduate Gregory Moss, unfolds in disjointed episodes, each informed by a famous punk song. The plot follows the relationship between high school students Duck (Mark J. Mauriello ’15) and Mickey (Matt J. Bialo ’15) as they turn to the punk mindset of Reagan’s America. Duck, hot-tempered and manipulative, serves as the antagonist to the more reserved and vulnerable Mickey.
“You can almost see them as two halves of the same person,” Mauriello says. “But it’s also a love story.” As the two grapple with their own changing relationship and immerse themselves in the world of punk, they begin to realize that their new culture may be just as oppressive as the one from which they came.
The versatile black box of the Loeb Ex will allow Brandt and his four-person cast—which also includes Lily R. Glimcher ’14 and Christian N. Fohrby ’14—to approach the staging creatively. The characters will be on roller skates the whole time, though they will mostly ignore them, walking clunkily around the Cambridge bedroom in which the whole play takes place. By framing the show in a box within the larger black box theater, Brandt hopes to heighten focus and intimacy.
“This play has been with me for a long time,” Brandt says. “It’s been really interesting to explore these characters, internally and externally, and watch them come alive.”
—Staff writer Andrew Chow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.