Saturday, January 09, 2010

7. Once and For All We're Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up And Listen

The first time the thirteen teenagers of Once and For All We're Gonna Tell You Who We Are So Shut Up and Listen come on stage, it's a spontaneous burst of energy. Two boys flick each other with balloons; two girls splash, spit, and pour water on one another; a boy and a girl get a little romantic while tangled up in a garbage bag; a skateboard flies by--also, a scooter; a tower of cups is stacked and smashed; chairs go flying--kids do, too. The sheer volume of things happening--to say nothing of the actual volume, particularly when there's mood-setting music playing--perfectly represents the overwhelming task Alexander Devriendt has given to his cast: to express the inexpressible: the intense feeling, spontaneity, and freedom of youth.  The exuberant joy--and, to be fair, awkward frustrations--of the following "scenes" stems from attempting to recapture those anarchic moments when other conditions--the world's perceptions/requirements--are layered atop them, yet the cast succeeds, time and time again, at retaining the originality they feel necessary to remain relevant.

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