I was a last minute volunteer to review a play which was called Midway Through the Journey of Our Life. Clumsy title I thought, but life is clumsy, so what the hell. Some plans had fallen through, it was the right near my house, I wanted to thank the good folks at Provocative Penguin for publishing an earlier story of mine, so I thought here we go. I should have read the description before volunteering. It was described as an interactive theatre experience designed for one spectator at a time. Had I known this beforehand, truthfully, I would not have volunteered. My fault.
You can imagine how surprised I was, when I learned I was the only audience member and then taken around back into a parking lot and blindfolded. A squinty eyed, attractive Italian young lady did the blindfolding, so I was not exactly terrified. I put the earbuds into my ears and hit play on the grey iPod Mini provided. A guy started talking over some chill music as the Italian girl led me by the hand down an alley. The man’s voice in my ear was trying to get me to imagine a forest.
I’m not sure how much I should reveal in this review. Everyone involved seemed young. The writing and lack of a true journey in story form kind of made it seem like they were trying to be over-profound; but that’s what people expect from these kind of things.
The fact I live in the neighborhood made me nervous walking around the streets in the costume they had me put on. I was kind of ashamed of myself for being so embarrassed as I followed a woman in stilts, worried I would see someone I know. After being lead across Queen Street and down an alley, I was introduced to another young lady who was searching for something we never found. The heat of the day was starting to overwhelm me.
The meaning of the play and the life advice given by the young people and the voice in the headphones was a bit cliched and trite, but that’s not uncommon for amateur performance art. It did make me think about how closed minded I was, and why I couldn’t enjoy myself, however. I tried to equate the traveling I have done to the journey they were putting me on. I found myself waiting for one person to pass me on to the next person, and not really trying to put the pieces of a puzzle together.
Anyone who enjoys playing dress up, meandering and unpredictable interactions will enjoy this. I really could have enjoyed this kind of theatre if the story was tighter and the interactions were more involved. I found myself just waiting for the next bit instead of actually being involved.
Everyone seemed very nice, didn’t break character and overall it seemed like the show went according to plan with all the iPod changes. I just think the depth they were reaching for in an attempt to change my life missed the mark.
If you want to experience Midway Along the Journey of Our Life for yourself, you can [visit the Facebook Event Page here for more information]