Wilderness opened at Studio 58 this past weekend, in a flurry of young discoveries.
The distinct storylines of the youth made visible how mental illness affects all. The acting captured the teenage essence of mystery and vulnerability. Care, love, and the lack there of in the parent/child relationships displayed much dramatic truth. Although playing passionate teenagers, several of the actor’s performances were too melodramatic for the very serious, truthful subject matter. Still, the passion for the story was never lost.
The production was superbly put together. From the moment I walked in, I was engulfed into the world before the show even starts. The set was beautifully built and decorated. Aspects like the wideness of the stage, use of levels, large illuminating screen, and thoughtful lighting undoubtedly transported the audience into the world.
What stood out most were the outstanding music, movement and dance. The singing was clear. The music and sound carried us from scene to scene, leaving transitions seamless. Transition between abstract ideas and literal were smooth as well. The movement pieces throughout were captivating, energetic and precise.
The ending of the play was truly touching, and hopeful. Wilderness is well written, and has many uplifting stories of pain and hardship, all while relating to today’s youth. Great and helpful information on mental illness was provided in the program. Be aware some triggering scenes are present dealing with mental health.
Wilderness runs until December 3 at Studio 58. Ticket information here.