Content warning: I want to clarify that the production “Good Kids” is a performance based on a real-life tragedy: the 2012 case of rape at the Steubenville High School in a namesake small town in Ohio.
Since this play was written by Naomi Iizuka, whose work speaks for itself, I will not compliment the writing, even though it is a timely story that is marvelously told. However, I will compliment how the actors convincingly conveyed each line.
Throughout the production, I felt like I was watching a professional created TV show, a major testament to the talent Bradley has to offer.
While each actor did an amazing job delivering each of their lines, I will also compliment how well they acted to each line of the libretto when they were not delivering them in a dialogue. I know from experience it’s extremely difficult to be such an emotive performer when the performance is not on a stage, but the actors did not let that stop them from reacting to each line, as if they were not before green screens.
While I tried my best, I genuinely cannot give enough praise to all of the actors in this show because each was able to convey drastically different characters that helped maintain the flow of the story.
Throughout the entire play, each character got their own chance to shine, and the performers took full advantage of it. Thus, I am not going to praise one over another because each brought their own set of talents, from Susan Falk’s role as the caring friend of the victim, to the role of Chloe excellently portrayed by Sarah Dove, to Jared May’s effective portrayal of the stereotypical jock at a high school in Ohio.
Aside from the fantastic acting, the play was terrific in other regards as well. For example, the technology via Broadway On Demanded worked very smoothly — so much so that sometimes it made me forget that the play was being performed virtually and not onstage. As someone who loves theatre wholeheartedly, this show provided me with the hope that amazing college theatre can be effectively conveyed, even without a live audience.
I also want to compliment the costuming, hair design and makeup, which is a part of theatre that does not always get as much respect as it deserves. In the show, the costume design was one of the greatest aspects. And while the story of the show dictates the design elements should be subtle, that very fact makes the costume design, especially the makeup, all the more admirable. The design was not elaborate enough to pull audience members out of the story, but instead seemed fitting for each character.
If you have not taken the opportunity yet, or just want to see the immaculate wonder of “Good Kids” again, you can watch a pre-recorded version of the show tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, simply go to the Bradley Theatre Department’s website.