0

Flip the Script Friday: Mat Smart, The Royal Society of Antarctica

Greetings from Baltimore, where I’m spending the weekend celebrating my mom’s 70th birthday, and hopefully getting this post finished and uploaded as well as fixing some of the past posts.

That’s So Jacob Presents: Flip the Script Friday

Episode #49: Mat Smart, The Royal Society of Antarctica

The Basics

The Royal Society of Antarctica premiered on 26 February 2015 at The Gift Theatre in Chicago.

Characters

  • Dee – Female janitor, mid-20s.
  • UT Tom – Utility Technician, mid-40s.
  • UT Tim – Lead janitor, mid-30s.
  • Tamara – Dining attendant, mid-20s.
  • Pam – Fuel technician, mid-40s.
  • Ace – FEMC worker, over 30.
  • Miller – Naval Academy midshipman, 21.
  • Jake – Biology grad student, mid-20s.

Setting/Plot

McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Delijah, also known as Dee, goes to Antarctica in order to find answers about the death of her mother, Shannon, whose body has never been found.

My Thoughts

Initially, it reminded me a lot of a better version of play on which I once worked at the Baltimore Playwrights Festival. There is a lot in the script about corporate culture and the “Big Brother” mentality, and a ton of buzzwords: green brain, Biscuits and Honey Butter, and of course, “The Ice.” It also shows interesting interaction between people you’d never expect, like janitors and dining attendants. What’s really cool though (no pun intended) is that it takes place in Antarctica, which is one of the only places on Earth that has no native culture and to which no single national entity has a claim. Just like Dee is berated for trying to save some snow in the first scene, being admonished that it “belongs to everyone,”…yet it belongs to no one at the same time. Dee is noted as being one of the 11 people to have ever been born in Antarctica, so if anyone would have any claim, it would be her.

How I’d Flip It

The play’s notes indicate that the lighting never changes since it is light 24/7 in the time of year during which the play takes place. Also, many of the characters are bundled up in winter gear, including sunglasses or goggles. Perhaps the audience would receive those as well, if the scenery is that brightly white. 

What if…bear with me here folks…the show was done in a white box instead of a black box theatre? By white box, I mean just paint everything white. walls, chairs, tables, so it looks like everything is snow and ice. And maybe even make the room cold.