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How do we as humans cope with grief—is there a formula for healing? “The Thing About Air Travel,” which opens tonight at the Loeb Ex, presents a main character who deals with the loss of her brother by imagining him as a dog. By incorporating surrealist elements, up-and-coming playwright Max Posner lightens the otherwise melancholy premise of a family trying to deal with a significant loss.
The fast-paced and fluid 75-minute play is filled with quick exchanges of dialogue and quirky characters such as Marie (Maya M. Park ’16), the sister dealing with the death of her brother, the dog (Bryan D. Kauder ’14). Meant to illustrate Marie’s inner psyche, the play transitions through her stream of consciousness; her thoughts or hallucinations are actualized in front of the audience, illustrating another aspect of the surrealism present throughout the show.
The set, designed by Daniel J. Prosky ’16 and director Jacob A. Brandt ’14, is vital in facilitating the transition between Marie’s thoughts and reality. With only two airplane chairs elevated on a platform, the set’s aesthetic simplicity allows the audience to focus on the show’s complex story and themes.
Brandt says that the executive team has been working closely with the playwright, who will be attending one of the performances. “It’s exciting to work with someone who is close to our age and who is making really amazing theater,” Brandt says. “I am really excited to bring it to Harvard.”
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