Theatre First Episode 320
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Admissions – MTC, Melbourne, Australia
Starring Kat Stewart (Heisenberg) alongside Heidi Arena (Born Yesterday), Simon Maiden (A View from the...
Admissions MTC AI Transcript
[00:00:00] Alex First: White privilege receives a pummeling in satire admissions. It's 2015 and Sherry Rosen. Mason played by Kat. Stuart is head of admissions at an exclusive United States high school Hillcrest in New Hampshire, New England. Over 15 years, Sherry has worked tirelessly to raise the percentage of coloured students at the time.
She succeeded in seeing that proportion elevated in that time from a mere 6% to 18%, but she vows to press on that's why she's beside herself when she has to counsel, not for the first time long-serving staff member, Roberta Dendri Rubinstein about the poor representation of blacks and Hispanics in the next admissions catalogue.
That's the periodical distributed two perspectives to. In short Sherry labels, the draft of failure and instructs Roberta in very specific terms to redress the imbalance Roberta whose family has a near hundred-year history with a school. And whose father taught chemistry there for 33 years, doesn't know what all the fuss is about because she maintains, she doesn't see.
Sherry has the full support of her husband, bill Simon, Mason who's school principal in pursuing a greater representation of minorities at the august institution, their son, 17-year-old, Charlie Luther Mason, William McKenna is one of Hillcrest's top students and he's applied to Yale.
So two has his best friend Perry who we don't see. The payer has been inseparable since the age of three Perry's mother, Jenny Peters, Heidi arena, who married a biracial man is very close to Sherry. And then the bombshell drops that Perry has seen his dream come true, but Charlie hasn't angry, frustrated, and upset.
Charlie explodes in a fit of pique calling out the favourable treatment given to nonwhites, when it comes to university entrance, beyond that, he pays out on a specific female student for being selected as editor of the school newspaper. Well, he's had to settle for the associate position. His parents are taken aback, to say the least and his father slams his son, but that's merely the start of the problems bill and Sherry will face in the ensuing months that threatened to derail all the husband and wife I've worked for, for my no mistake, notwithstanding their trenchant position about equality. They want Charlie to attend the best university possible to ensure a bright future. And then Charlie goes rogue, the blow torch is turned up to maximum heat in Joshua Harmon's biting page Turner, which raises the question, how far one's willing to go in the name of principle. It's a play with an enormous amount of cut-through challenge and confrontation or the name of the game. Admissions is populated by strong, passionate characters.
Big on conviction. That's been brilliantly conceived. My only qualm concerns, a Nazi reference that I feel is offensive and oversteps the mark. While in context, I understand why it's in the play. I still believe it could have been expressed more sensitively without compromising meaning the performances all five lead.
So masterfully by Kat Stuart are magnificent. The delivery is complimented by highly expressive facial movements indicating incredulity shock and outright. The diatribe from Charlie upon learning he's missed out on a place at Yale is undoubtedly one of the shows, many high points, notwithstanding the unfortunate remark I referenced earlier where you McKenna is a force of nature.
Fortunately, the piece gives all actors the opportunity to stamp their mark and that they do with distinction. The staging too is a work of real craftsmanship by Jacob Batiste rows of library books, line shelves on either side of a rotating stage upon which are positioned three large sets there's Sherry's wood-panelled office, Mason's modern kitchen, and their living room complete with steep stairs.
Gary Abraham's direction is sharp and assured throughout. He's done a fine job with the material. Admissions is quality entertainment in the guise of a moral quandary. It's playing at South Bank Theatre, the Sumner in Melbourne until the 9th of April, 2022.