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July 16, 2017
 

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Darren Harbour, Paula O. Lockhart & Corey Long in Look Me In The Eye. Photo by Kelsey Thompson.

Look Me In The Eye

Written and staged by Resonant Light Theatre Project

Review by Keith Waits

Entire contents copyright © 2017 Keith Waits. All rights reserved.

The world changes, and sometimes we have to catch up. During an early scene in Look Me In The Eye, a Dungeons and Dragons game sends the one female player out of the room, furious at the casual embrace of sexism and objectification. I played D&D frequently in high school, often with women, but I recognized the dynamic all too well, so I know first hand the correlation between fantasy gaming and fantasy sex.

The evening is likely filled with enough of such moments to connect to virtually any audience members’ personal experiences, especially since it moves through topics such as Sexual Orientation, Racism, Disability, and Date Rape. Consent is the key word here, and it is interesting that a term so tied to the current dialogue about sexual conduct is here utilized as the linking dynamic for exploring all of these issues; it might also apply to common assumptions in how we treat anyone different from our selves.

The material alternates scenes and monologues, with the scenes being mostly satirical. Besides the D&D session, there is a funny bit about a game show in which couples compete to see if they will answer questions the same way – basically The Newlywed Game. When the woman’s answers begin to not just deviate but point to her partner’s manipulative behavior, the host alters the narrative to smother the implication. It is a tidy indictment of American popular culture’s acquiescence to the patriarchal establishment.

The monologues are more serious in tone, and come off as personal and deeply revelatory. When Paula O’ Lockhart speaks to the casual cruelty that confronts people whose body type does not match the air-brushed, highly toned image deemed appropriate by society, it feels painfully authentic. It is in these pieces that the message of Look Me In The Eye finds its most forceful voices.

This is unquestionably a self-conscious, didactic evening of theatre, but the “green vegetables” are made more palatable by the honest, confrontational aspect of the presentation. When all five of the ensemble stand shoulder-to-shoulder to proclaim the jeremiad, it is a challenge to the audience to not only expand their comprehension and compassion, but to take a stand when we bear witness to such behavior.

Look Me In The Eye

Part of Unheard (outloud): Looking for Lilith’s 15th Anniversary Festival

Clifton Center
1124 Payne Street
Louisville, KY 40205

PRODUCTIONS:

LOOK ME IN THE EYE
A Satirical Exploration Of Issues Of Consent
Resonant Light Theatre Project
7/16 – 5:30pm | 7/17 – 7:00pm | 7/19 – 7:00pm | 7/21 – 9:30pm
Eifler Theatre

I’M WEARING MY OWN CLOTHES!
Civil War Dr. Mary Walker’s Inspiring Quest To Be True To Herself
By Nancy Gall-Clayton
Looking For Lilith Theatre Company
7/14 – 8:00pm | 7/16 – 3:00pm | 7/20 – 7:30pm | 7/23 – 3:00pm
Eifler Theatre

CROSSING MOUNTAINS

The Making Of Hindman Settlement School
Looking For Lilith Theatre Company
7/13 – 8:00pm | 7/15 – 3:00pm | 7/22 – 3:00pm | 7/23 – 6:00pm
Eifler Theatre

DEFINING INFINITY
Exploring The Spectrums Of Gender And Sexual Orientation
Looking For Lilith Theatre Company
7/19 – 8:00pm | 7/21 – 8:30pm | 7/23 – 4:30pm
Reception Hall

LOST & FOUND
Adanma Onyedike Burton
One Woman’s Experience Of Navigating The Social Taboo Of Miscarriages
7/17 – 8:30pm | 7/19 – 9:00pm | 7/21 – 7:30pm
Eifler Theatre

STILL I RISE!
Celebrating Women Lyricists And Composers Of Broadway
Pandora Productions
7/14 – 10:00pm | 7/15 – 10:00pm | 7/17 – 9:30pm | 7/22 – 10:00pm
Reception Hall

____________________________

STAGED READINGS

MOLLY DRIVEN
By Haydee Canovas
Lifting The Veil On The Cost Of Human Trafficking In Louisville
7/13 – 7:00pm
Adelberg Room

#Whathappenedtodavid
Julie Investigates The Death Of An African American Student
By Terkeisha Tyler
7/20 – 8:00pm
Adelberg Room

____________________________

WORKSHOPS

HISTORIAS DE INMIGRANTES LATINAS
(Latina Immigrants’ Stories)
Play Reading & Discussion By EACM Women’s Group And LFL
7/14 – 6:00pm
Reception Hall

KIDZPLAY
Participatory Drama Workshop By LFL For Children 4-8 & Their Parents
7/15 – 10:00am | 7/18 – 10:00am | 7/22 – 1:00pm
Adelberg Room

RACIAL JUSTICE
Led By Louisville Showing Up For Racial Justice And LFL
7/15 – 12:00pm
Adelberg Room

THEATRE OF THE OPPRESSED 101
Workshop For Both Beginners And Those With TOTO Techniques, LFL
7/16 – 2:00pm
Adelberg Room

GENDER & SEXUALITY DIVERSITY 101
Exploring Spectrums W/TSTAR (Trans & Sexuality Teaching, Advocacy And Research)
7/21 – 9:30pm
Reception Hall

INTRO TO DEVISING
Creating A Collaborative Response To The Current U.S. Climate, LFL
7/18 – 7:00pm
Eifler Theatre

GIRLSPEAK
Public Sharing Of LFL’s Summer Drama Camp
7/20 – 6:00pm
Reception Hall

____________________________

FESTIVAL PASSES
UNHEARD [Outloud] Festival Passes Include Admission To ALL Festival Events, July 13-23 (6 Productions, 2 Staged Readings, And A Variety Of Workshops). Lookingforlilith.Org/Unheardoutloud

SINGLE TICKETS
Tickets May Be Purchased Online (Lookingforlilith.Org/Unheardoutloud) Or At The Door. Please Call For Group Rates.
PRODUCTIONS: $20 | $15 – Students/Seniors
STAGED READINGS: $10
WORKSHOPS: PAY WHAT YOU CAN!

 

KeithKeith Waits is a native of Louisville who works at Louisville Visual Art during the days, including being the host of PUBLIC on WXOX-FM 97.1/ ARTxFM.com, but spends most of his evenings indulging his taste for theatre, music and visual arts. His work has appeared in Pure Uncut Candy, TheatreLouisville, and Louisville Mojo. He is now Managing Editor for Arts-Louisville.com.





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