Ask Aunt Susan – By Yliana Velazquez

May 25, 2012 in Blog by Cindy-Bandle-Young-Critics

Ask Aunt Susan was a phenomenal work reflecting the connection of places and time through technological gadgets such as cell phones and Internet.  The playful costumes and vibrant characters captured the audience in an intimate way, just as the Internet had captured Aunt Susan in an intimate way.  Disconnected from a world of relationships and contact, Aunt Susan takes a journey of disillusionment as “her” website becomes a mass production of media connecting poor souls complaining to Aunt Susan about their depressing lives.

The stage set-up in the theater created for a personal connection with the audience, capturing the minds and attention of viewers.  The props also added to the representation of the disorientation of the minds indulged in the media by showing a symbol of Aunt Susan’s vortexed mind and frantic thinking.  The dramatic background lighting also did a fantastic job of creating the varying moods created throughout the play.  However, while the overhead screens were a good effort towards the theme of the play, they deemed quite unnecessary and distracting.

The humorous tone carried out throughout the play, kept the audience well engage.  The often crude humor kept the play at a bearable level, relating well with the audience.  The actors did an excellent job of portraying their characters, although the humor was sometimes too forced.  All aspects came together, however, to create a sort of “digital wasteland” as the characters got lost through their journeys online and lost touch with reality.