Premiere of "Anon(ymous)"

There is nothing in the world that is more sentimental than a son in search for his long lost mother.  “Anon(ymous)” is a modern adaptation of Homer’s epic poem, “The Odyssey.” Displaced and disoriented, a boy embarks on a long journey as he searches for his mother. Shipwrecked on a coast somewhere in the United States, the land of opportunity, several individuals experience what it means to live an anonymous life. It’s a heavyhearted drama that will bring about some serious thought and hopefully remind you of where you came from and the importance of home.

“Anon(ymous)” premiered on Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. in the Alvina Krause Theatre and is the second production of the BU Player’s 2010-11 season. Audience members may have been a little apprehensive going to the premiere as not a lot people knew what to expect. Modernizing “The Odyssey” sounds like risky business.  The BU Players’ first production, “Almost, Maine,” had a good turnout but the last play held at the Alvina Krause Theatre, “Dracula,” did not receive good notices from the student audience and had many students dreading “Anon(ymous).”  Past theatre experiences should not influence feelings towards the new play.  Although the opening scene may have been a little confusing, the play became easier to piece together as the plot moved forward. Within the first few minutes, the play may have come off as a bit a snoozer, but as it moved on it became intriguing and exciting.

Michael Porter as the character, Anon, was a strong lead and this really helped move the play along. The voices in the opening scene may have thrown a few people off but the audience finally grasped the gist of the main plot.  Anybody who has read “The Odyssey” knows that it can be difficult to follow. However, Naomi Iizuki, the playwright of Anon(ymous), did a wonderful job adapting Homer’s epic poem, so it is not necessary to read up on the original to understand the main storyline.

There was great energy for the opening night.  Laughter spread throughout the theater as the characters told a few good jokes. At first, it seemed like it was going to be a tough crowd but then the actors put the audience at ease.  Things started to heat up during a romantic scene where several audience members yelled, “Get some!” Audience members tried to converse with the actors while they were performing, and the actors on the stage paused until the audience calmed down.  Things got a little disappointing when the energy started to die down as the audience began to lose interest.  However, there were a few moments that created an “o.m.g.” reaction that made the play worth it and re-caught the audience’s attention.  The mood of the audience varied from a nervous tension to really excited to almost back to sleep mode throughout the night.

The play was well cast and the actors had good chemistry on stage.  The talent and professionalism of the cast, crew, and direction team made it a successful production.  But sometimes successful doesn’t always mean good. The cast and crew didn’t take the play to new heights.  With such raw talent, BU Players could have made it truly spectacular.  However, many audience members left with the feeling that the play left something to be desired.  However, this is not to say that the play is not worth seeing.  It was an overall enjoyable performance with exquisite acting.

Anon(ymous)
By Naomi Iizuki; directed by Ingrid De Sanctis; costumes by Karen Anselm; lighting design by Ethan H. Krupp; sound design by Todd Campbell, Quinn Collins, Ingrid De Sanctis, and Kaitlyn Ide; technical director, Ethan H. Krupp; costume director, Karen Anselm; stage manager, Marie Danenhower.  Sponsored by the Community Government Association.  At the Alvina Krause Theatre, 226 Center St., Bloomsburg. Approx. running time: 1 hour 30 minutes.
WITH: Philip Czekner, Destiny Deater, Gregory Hoagland, Deanna Kremer, Adriana Maritato, Candyce Musinski, Richard Nazzaro, Michael Porter, Gabriella Russo, Lauren Stover and Natasha Willis.
“Anon(ymous)“ will run from Wednesday to Sunday, Nov. 3 to 7, at 7:30 p.m., including a Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. Tickets are $6 for adults, $4 for senior citizens and non-BU students and free with a BU student ID. For more information or to order tickets contact the Haas Center Box Office at (570) 389-4340.

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