On Thursday September 21, I attended the Goodman Theatre’s College Night, an event held for college students which gives you the opportunity to partake in a pizza party, panel discussion, and view a performance. The event drew an array of college students from the area to the theatre on Thursday evening. The performance for this event was Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, directed by Ivo van Hove.
I do not want to give too much of the play away so here is a little synopsis. A View from the Bridge is a story about Eddie Carbone, a longshoreman from Brooklyn, and two of his immigrant cousins from Italy that come to America. One of his cousins, Rodolpho, falls for Eddie’s niece, Catherine, and Eddie is not happy with that situation. This then leads to a chain of unbelievable events that stuns just about everyone.
I have been to some of the theaters downtown for shows but this was my first time at the Goodman Theatre. When you enter the theatre, you can see an immediate difference between this theatre and others that are located in the city. The Goodman is a little more on the modern side compared to the other theaters that feature detailed ceilings and intricately designed walls.
The event started out with a pre-show pizza party on the second floor of the theatre. This allowed the students from various colleges to mix and mingle with one another and share their love for the arts. Following the pizza party, students were then directed towards the corner of the venue to listen to a panel discussion where Ian Bedford (who plays Eddie) and Andrus Nichols (who plays Beatrice) answered questions and talked about the play.
Around seven o’clock, it was time to head into the Albert Theatre, one of the two theatres inside of the Goodman, for the scheduled seven-thirty performance. Since I was a part of press, I was seated on the main floor of the theatre. I had a great view and once I sat down, my eyes were immediately drawn to the stage. In the center, you see what looks like a large box cloaked in black fabric and to the left and right of the box were a few rows of seats for patrons to sit in to take in the performance in a whole new way.
When the performance began, the black cloth lifted and then that exposed the area that the actors would be performing in. I personally have never seen a set like this before. It was so minimalistic and brought a very interesting element to the play. Essentially, the actors were performing inside an open box with only lights shining upon them. Having a more stripped back production I think is what made this play so interesting because the audience can focus more on actors as they perform alongside each other instead of being overwhelmed by other various types of flashy objects on the stage. At the beginning of the show, there was a fog machine and at the end of the play there were a few other elements (I will not mention them because that gives some things away) but that was pretty much it.
All of the actors were phenomenal. They acted with such passion and they delivered each line so powerfully that it stuck with you throughout the whole performance and even once it concluded. The play had its share of humorous moments but overall, the play exuded such a raw and real feeling with a hint of mystery that had me on the edge of my seat at times wondering what was going to happen next. There was even a point in the play where I gasped multiple times because I could not believe what had just happened. Sorry, no spoilers. If you want to know, go see for yourself.
When the performance was over, patrons were offered the option of staying for a post-show discussion of the play which was led by a member of the Goodman artistic staff. The Goodman Theatre offers a free program called the College Club, which is a program for those students who really passionate about theater. Those who join the program receive monthly e-newsletters with student discounts for shows, exclusive information about the Goodman’s current season, invitations to special events, and priority access to College Nights.
For those students who are unable to attend College Night, the Goodman offers a program called 10TIX. This program offers ten dollar tickets to students for plays in the Albert Theatre or the Owen Theatre, subject to availability. For more information regarding the 10TIX program, visit GoodmanTheatre.org/Tickets/Special-Discounts. The next College Night takes place on October 26 and the performance will be Rohina Malik’s Yasmina’s Necklace. Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves will take place on February 15.
Overall, this was truly a great experience and I was very happy that I was able to attend such a well put together event. The production was outstanding and the actors put on a great show. I would highly recommend seeing this show before its run ends, which is on October 15. I would also recommend attending their College Nights if you really are passionate about or enjoy theatre. You will get to meet some pretty cool people from other colleges that share the same love of theatre as you and who knows, maybe you will make some new friends.
For more information regarding A View from the Bridge production at the Goodman Theatre, be sure to visit GoodmanTheatre.org/View.
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