DOWNTOWN URBAN ARTS FESTIVAL
A CIVILIZED WORLD BY ANGHUS HOUVOURAS
Review by Michael D’Antoni
Any avid theater goer or nostalgic TV fan would immediate associate and compare this production to an episode of the Very popular 1950’s Televisions Series “The Twilight Zone.” This was the brainchild of Emmy Award-winner Rod Serling, who served as host and wrote over 80 episodes of the original show’s 150-plus episode run. It’s was a strange mix of horror, science-fiction, drama, comedy and superstition as many of the black and white hours concluded with a surprise ending.
In the play “A Civilized World” which portrays a futuristic world whereby a drug addicted citizen is sentenced to death as an unproductive member of society which by the way is a capital offense.
The play centers on the condemned, Eleanor Reed and her final conversation with Andrew Goodman, a life long government shill tasked with explaining, as well as, justifying the value of her sacrifice for the overall good of society. This premise is best exemplified in the plays line “Some of us live by example and some of us die to provide it!”
The story line much to its credit, could have been lifted directly from the pages of Rod Serling’s scripts.
The overall story has merit and does complimentary tribute to Mr. Serling, whether the actors and/or writer realize it or not! For when I ask the actor who played Andrew if he had ever seen “The Twilight Zone” or ever heard of Rod Serling, much to my surprise, he told me he had not! What a shame as he has no idea what he has been missing!
The Andrew character who portrays the government representative (nicely and one dimensional played by Nishad More) is stoic, un-concerning, businesslike, emotionless and very matter of fact as while charged with performing the last interview of the condemned character of Eleanor.
Simply staged and plainly costumed (as it should) the show catches your attention from the beginning with some poignant dialog and keeps your attention to the very end!