Monday, May 22, 2017

The Manipulating Circle of Power

By Elisabeth McGowan

          Ever talked to someone you look up to in some way? Some figure of authority – your boss, your favorite celebrity…? Almost everyone has, so have you actually ever been thoroughly and deeply insulted by that one person you admire? Your boss telling you that the task you did was done completely wrong and that you’re inept at the job as it is; your favorite celebrity signing you an autograph then waving you away or telling you to “back off” when you asked them a question. We’ve all been there – even the people we look up to have been this one person that someone else looks down on.

Now have you actually ever turned the tables on them?

Let’s say your boss rejects you of that promotion, but then asks you for some advice on a totally different subject? A vibe of “Hey, I know you’re brutally dejected now, but could you help me with this?” You could say “no” to that. But, sometimes it’s hard to because now you have the chance for some payback. I mean, they asked for your help, so you should be honest – even if that means being terribly honest.
Let’s go back to that job example – you’re about to walk away after your manager just told you that the project or the task you handled was barely accomplished, and it would have been better if you just jumped off a cliff to save your boss the trouble of firing you. But now they stop you and imply that they need help with this birthday gift they worked so hard on making for their nephew…and it looks absolutely horrible. Won’t you enjoy telling them that truth? Honesty is awful sometimes, but you can get away with it. After all, they chose to be horrendously honest with you; shouldn’t you do the same?

Inspirational right? We can all relate, which is why playwright Albert Repicci created A Play On Words. Repicci’s two characters – Tony Collins and Harriet Hopper clash with the scenario of a highly esteemed person trashing on an admirer’s creation, until suddenly that acclaimed person is then derided for something they did by the admirer.

Harriet Hopper is an acclaimed theatre critic, who is noticed by one of her fans, Tony, at a cocktail lounge. He shyly asks for her opinion on his most recent play, only to face total heartbreak and humiliation from what she has to say about it. Almost out of nowhere, the scene is then flipped as he takes over another topic at hand that she herself should improve upon. Things shift to sounding and appearing awfully familiar as the power switches from this harsh theatre critic to this seemingly timid playwright in Repicci’s production.

Want to join this ride as these two characters embark on this circular motion of manipulation, insults, and fluctuating power? Comment please and come see A Play On Words at the Riant Theater’s Strawberry One-Act Festival, July 13th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd at The Theater at St. Clement’s: 423 West 46th Street, New York (Between 9th and 10th Avenue). 

By Albert Repicci
Directed by Ramona Floyd

Michael Piper-Younie and Stephanie Weppler

A young male playwright recognizes the drab appearing woman at a bar as being the theatre critic who reviewed his play and timidly approaches her and asks her opinion of his work.  When she dressed him down, he dressed her up.

Thursday, July 13th at 9pm
Sunday, July 16th at 3pm
Saturday, July 22nd at 7pm
Sunday, July 23rd at 3pm

Tickets: $25 Online, $27 at the Box Office
Premium Seats (Rows A-F): $30 Online, $35 at the Box Office  Box Office: 646-623-3488

At the Theatre at St. Clement's
423 West 46th Street, NYC
Between 9th & 10th Avenue

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