F E R A L M U S I C R E V I E W E D
The new play Feral Music by playwright Brian Silberman, attempts to deal with the definition of art. The play is currently showing in Stadium II in the Drake Union. Tickets can be bought at the Ticket master as early as Monday, February 1st. The play will be running March 3rd through March 6th, all shows will be at 8:00 p.m., arrive early there will be no late seating. The average length of the play is two hours and ten minutes, including a fifteen minute intermission. I felt the director Lesley Ferris did a wonderful job portraying the struggle of a deaf mute who believes that she is a jazz singer.
The central focus of the play mainly revolves around Nola, (portrayed by Wendy Bagger),
a deaf mute in a mental institution. Dr. Kraft, a diagnostician, and has a degree in art history has heard word of Nola's attempts and actions to sing. Dr. Kraft wants the world to appreciate Nola's artistic talents. However, Williamson and Hope, both clinical psychologists cause a great deal of controversy over wanting to keep Nola in the institution for more treatments. Hannah, a schizophrenic was the only person who truly understood Nola's art of music. This play uses everyday language in prose, it does not use the unity of time or place.
The thrust stage drew attention to the individual characters and brought a feeling of the audience actually being in the play. The lighting did a splendid job depicting the individual characters moods and highlighting the action. The double bass played throughout the play and controlled the tempo and mood, while he strummed out the music which Nola "sang" to. The scenery was fitting for the scenes in which it was used, granted I was a little scared when I saw the set, which consisted of only four toilets. The set was very abstract, you have to use your imagination to watch a whole play such as this with almost no scenery.

Nola, (played by Wendy Bagger), did an excellent job communicating throughout the play using only physical and emotional expressions. Playing the part of a deaf mute would take some skill because you have to sign on stage throughout the whole play. This was her only form of expression and she made it look very natural. Kraft, (played by Jeremy Dubin), went in and out of character throughout the play. I was not convinced by his performance. The orderly/janitor, Arturo, (played by Chris Neher), played the perfect stereotypical, insane asylum orderly. He treated the patients with no respect and took what he wanted, in more than one way. I think overall the best actress of the production was Jessica Morgan, who played Hannah. Hannah was Nola's schizophrenic friend, she did an awesome job with an exploding energy level on stage.
Overall I didn't grasp what theme the playwright was trying to show. The artistic impression that he was attempting to impede on me didn't come through. The play has to do with art, but it is definitely not an easy theme to pick out. I wouldn't recommend seeing the play if it were not for the sheer outstanding performance that Jessica Morgan, (the part of Hannah) put on. She made the play and the others coat-tailed on her performance.