Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: The Moral is Sexting is Bad

Sexting is an epidemic. In the digital age, sending naughty pictures is almost common practice. And just as fast as you send that picture, that same picture can be circulated faster than you can say selfie. And just like that, a scandal unfolds. In The Text of Sex, an innocent picture sent to one person sets off a firestorm of scandal and drama.
Written by Michele Aldin Kushner, The Text of Sex follows Delilah, a sixteen year old girl, who sends a boob shot to her new male companion after her best friend Jenna convinces her to. The picture then ends up circulating prompting a criminal investigation and Delilah being charged with child pornography as an adult. The Text of Sex is not an original story nor do we learn anything new from this play. Sexting scandals happen all over the country from students to politicians to celebrities. What The Text of Sex does set out to do is humanize the parties involved. Aldin Kushner portrays her high school characters as insanely naive and unaware of the consequences. In this day and age, it's almost unbelievable. Especially for kids living in New York City. On top of the main plot line, there is an unnecessary parental subplot regarding their marriage and unfaithfulness. This subplot detracts from the main action, pulling more focus than it should have.
With a pretty mediocre script, the ensemble had very little to work with. As Dock and Bette respectively, Tom O'Keefe and Patricia Randell fit the part of parents. When it came to the other part of the play, both O'Keefe and Randell entered a new world. Julienne Jones as Delilah did a fine job as the innocently naive fire starter. AC Horton brought insanity to the jealous friend Jenna. Despite what the script said, I'm still convinced she was behind the circulation. Mason O'Sullivan played Jason quite subtly bordering the line of cool and uncool.
Director Bruce "Master B" Baek brought very little to the stage to portray the playwright's objective as printed in the program. The character arcs for Jason and Jenna specifically took bizarre turns and Baek's direction did not help in clarifying their later scenes. In the world of sound, designer Regan Riggs Hunte overused the song "Moth" by BETH. The song is listed in the program and is sublimely bashed into your brains as it plays on loop during preshow and in nearly every single transition. If music is used to evoke a mood going into or coming out of a scene, using the same intro to the song did nothing but make some people in the audience notice and laugh that the song was playing again.
Despite the times, The Text of Sex feels like a dated play. The shock value if the situation is gone and nothing new is brought to light. Despite the single act, the play is long with a lot of fat to be trimmed.