What's it about?
The Assignment is about an English professor whose world turns upside down when a student’s personal essay reopens wounds from her past.
What I experienced?
The beginning of this play was a bit confusing to me. I started off feeling awkward. It's 7:30pm and the play is supposed to start but there's a teacher at the desk grading papers, but the audience lights are on and it's like.... I don't know what's going on here. Is the show starting or what? This goes on for a really long time (about 5 minutes).
But, it gets better as the play finally starts and a lighthearted, goofy guy named Julian is taking an English class while at the college on scholarship. As the play goes on, contrary to her liking, he gets close to Professor Payne. As it turns out, Julian has quite the troubled past. He was abused by his stepbrothers and stepfathers, they tortured him as a child. He's on parole, currently running from someone who is looking for him. She helps him get a job on campus, and even houses him when he has nowhere to go.
This all starts from a comparative essay he writes about his life and its parallels to Cinderella. She feels for him, and they develop somewhat of a friendship. It doesn't last long as she finds out he is on parole because he shot a kid for his sweater. This hits way too close to home as her son died 10 years ago in a shooting. She gets upset with him and they have a falling out when she breaks down and yells at him to leave her office. Let me just say, this lady is intense. She had two breakdowns in the play, bawling and holding herself. I always feel super awkward when someone is really sad and don't know how to react. Seeing her act that way, I was like, yup, I am uncomfortable af, because this feels real.
The end of the play confused me, again. They both meet outside and are smoking cigarettes. They don't talk much, and the play ends with her saying she loves the sun on her face like what? What does that mean? The lights go off and I'm like, no. No. NO. You have to explain! That makes no sense!!!! For my own mental sanity, I assume it's something like some metaphor about how the sun always rises and they make up and all live happily ever after. I assume. And I leave it at that.
Want to see it?
$20 tickets (thru TDF)
@ A.R.T. Theaters
thru May 7
What did you experience?
Let PXP know in the comments below...