Arts Runoff: GREEN EDEN

Based on a true story.

Summary: An original play, the senior work of Noah Mease ’11. I’ll use his summary: “Philip Cummings welcomes a young poet to his house on a winter’s night, but this is not the first Spanish poet to find him in the solitude of Vermont. Years earlier, summer, 1929, the famous poet Federico García Lorca visits a young Philip Cummings at a rented cabin beside Lake Eden. As the night grows late, the two Spanish poets blur, history and memory become poetry and translation, and Mr. Cummings tries to reclaim what he lost that August in Eden.”

Good: OMFG. // Unquestionably as engaging, profound, and dramatic as any play I’ve seen. Way better than a lot of the scripts Middlebury pays to put on. // Direcor Sasha Rivera ’12 helps Willy McKay ’11 (The Poet/Lorca) and Matt Ball (young & old Philip) lead us through the script’s nimble jumps back and forth in time without ever tripping–even when the Winter Carnival fireworks went off in the middle of the show.

Bad: Nothing was “bad.” Some comments. // No matter how good an actor Matt Ball is, he still looks young. For that reason, I was never sure how old the older Philip actually was. // Some dialog is supposed to be in “English” and some in “Spanish.” However, the quality of the language does not change when the language changes. There are artistic reasons for keeping the style uniform, but since so much of the play is about (mis)translation, I wondered whether the irreconcilableness of the two languages could be incorporated into the speech on a more fundamental level.

Broad: Mease hones his playwriting skills in The Middlebury Radio Theater of Thrills and Suspense, an oft-overlooked but quirky-awesome club on campus. Mease’s hometown paper, the Williston Observer, published a profile on him.

Contextual Rating: If you have something important to do this weekend…
-do it, and see this show if you can.

-put it off and see this show.
-Skip it. SEE GREEN EDEN! No one should pass this up. Seriously.

Green Eden, in the Hepburn Zoo, FRIDAY at 8:00 and 10:30, SATURDAY at 8:00. The show runs about 1:30 and there’s no intermission.

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4 thoughts on “Arts Runoff: GREEN EDEN

  1. This play is so phenomenally well written, and absolutely beautifully and artistically put on. Sasha Rivera, Matt Ball, Willy McKay, April Dodd, RJ Adler, Jordan Jones, every other fabulous soul involved, and the consistently excellent unnamed set designer: Wow, that was an unforgettable experience; thank you so much! Bravo!

  2. Seconded. I just saw the late show on Friday, and it was truly fantastic. Everything about this play was amazing. After seeing the reading of the play in December of last semester and the full production tonight, I am all the more convinced that it is a truly incredible work of art. GO SEE IT.

  3. Agreed. I have seen a lot of shows at Midd (and clearly JP has as well), and I do not think it’s a stretch to say that Green Eden has been the best of them all. Everything about the play was simply beautiful. What an incredible production from an amazingly talented cast and crew.

  4. Yeah… just one more gushy point:

    There are a lot of movies and plays about people confronting genius, but very few ask you to do much more than marvel at the fathomless depths of whoever the genius character is. I liked that, although Philip definitely puts Lorca on a huge pedestal, the play itself does not–or at least not in the same simplistic way. I just watched “Amadeus” last night, so I’m finding parallels.

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