Friday, February 26, 2016

Review: I Was in a Cult

We’ve heard stories about people getting involved in religious cults but we never imagined it could happen to us. Why does it happen? How does it happen? That’s the story Diana Brown is about to share in her solo show So Amazing. Inspired by a true story, So Amazing is Brown’s saga as she found herself involved in a religious group in Bergen County, New Jersey. In the multi-character solo show ripped from the headlines, Brown meets an intriguing white girl with a Korean accent who invites her to her church. And without warning, Brown finds herself signing away her life to a place where fear and manipulation are in control.
What is most important element about So Amazing is the story. The tale of a cult survivor. It keeps the piece engaging. With the story as the draw, Brown may want to explore a different solo format, changing from multi-character to extended monologue. As far as how the piece flows, Brown’s portrayal of the various characters isn’t her strongest suit. Brown has trouble transitioning and finding variance. But when Brown plays herself and speaks the truths, the audience is engaged and it’s the most interesting aspects of the show. Brown uses the piece to help and instruct, talking about how loved ones can help and informing about the BITE model. The elements are present so a slight altering of format could elevate So Amazing. Additionally, bringing in a directorial eye could be of great use.
So Amazing is an important story to hear. There are others like Brown out in the world that don’t get the opportunity or have the courage to speak their voice. In that respect, So Amazing is a success.

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