The Sagamore

Review: Don’t Knock Opportunity

The Central Square Theater group, starring in the short play

The Central Square Theater group, starring in the short play "Don't Knock Opportunity." ROSA STERN PAIT / SAGAMORE STAFF

Rosa Stern Pait, Co-Editor in Chief

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A high school senior who got into his dream college in another state but decides not to go because he needs to take care of his younger sisters. A biracial girl who isn’t sure which box to check for “ethnicity” on official documents. A 19-year-old who learns about confidence and identity while delivering a baby for the first time.

These are just three of the many characters and situations explored in “Don’t Knock Opportunity,” an ensemble-written play by Youth Underground. The Central Square Theater theater troupe travels to schools to perform plays that “investigate social issues relevant to young people and our world”, according to the program’s website. It was performed at the high school during A-block on Thursday, April 14. The show was sponsored by the Alternative Choices in Education program and introduced by seniors Chaurice Mcmillan and Hank McNamara.

The play was a series of vignettes, brief scenes and monologues around the topic of opportunity – who has it, who doesn’t, who uses it and who misses it, when it comes and when it doesn’t. The set was simple, just a few wooden blocks, and the 12 cast members wore casual, everyday clothing.

The Central Square Theater group featured in  the short play "Don't Knock Opportunity." ROSA STERN PAIT / SAGAMORE STAFF

The Central Square Theater group featured in the short play “Don’t Knock Opportunity.” ROSA STERN PAIT / SAGAMORE STAFF

“Opportunity” covered an extensive range of hot button issues: race, the achievement gap, social media, environmentalism, police brutality, and more. The actors were constantly moving, as each actor took on roles inside and outside of their race, age and gender with astounding flexibility and exaggerated earnestness.

The wide scope of the play gave it energy but also made it feel unfocused, each new idea straying a bit farther from the central theme. The audience grew restless as the show spilled into X-block with no concluding moment in sight.

But the company of Youth Underground, like the young characters they played, were unfazed by the noise and movement of the world around them, and stayed true to themselves.

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