What could be more chaotic than 10 (or 11) middle schoolers lost in the woods with a bear on the prowl? It is up to the lead characters of “Mike and Micah Lose a Bunch of Kids in the Woods,” an original play, to find out. The play, which will run Oct. 16-Oct. 24 in the Loeb Ex, hopes to present a uniquely comedic take on the classic coming-of-age story.
Written and acted by Mike C. Ross ’16 and Micah U. Leslie ’16, the play tells a story of two summer camp counselors, also named Mike and Micah. “We have these middle schoolers, and we have these two friends who have been friends for life and now they’re graduating college,” Ross says. “They’re about to go out into the real world, and they’re having their little quarter-life crises about that. But they're also comparing that to the last time they felt so upheaved and disgusting and weird, which was middle school.” The two friends lose the children they are supposed to be in charge of, and the plot proceeds—somewhat unintentionally—in the style of Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” which Ross had previously read. Julia N. Becerra ’16 rounds out the cast as a variety of animals, including a bear.
The cast hopes that the play will address themes of coming of age and dealing with the responsibilities and challenges of growing up. “It’s this idea of as you’re growing up, no one feels like it’s going at a comfortable pace…. You always feel like you’re being hurtled into the future. You’re never quite as prepared as you want to be,” says Karen L. Chee ’17, director of the show. “The play really explores the fear of it and how vulnerable you feel, and how everybody’s trying to cover it up and prove that they’re in a good place, but nobody really is and that’s totally okay.”
The production team believes the subject matter will be humorous and relatable not only to Harvard students, who are at a similar stage in life, but to anyone who finds themselves at a crossroads. Although viewers of the play may not be faced with bears or missing children, the cast hopes that their characters’ struggles will strike a chord. “Every time your life is about to change in some way or another, there’s definitely this feeling of fear and uncertainty,” Leslie says. “The play doesn’t take itself super seriously, and I think we were able to do a lot of weird, funny stuff, but still put out this message that we think about a lot.”
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