SOFIA HAUSER/SAGAMORE STAFF
From the “Titanic” to a courtroom, “Asking For It” handles themes of sexual assault and masculinity with hilarity and maturity, while providing an entertaining and thought-provoking show.
The performance consisted of several scenes written and performed by Brookline Educational Theatre Company (BETCo) students. While all of the scenes were focused on often difficult and uncomfortable issues, they had a refreshing balance of comedy and solemnity.
The show started off with a scene called “The Titanic.” It was well-written and a recreation of the famous scene between Rose (senior Eve Jones) and Jack (junior Tilden Lin), but they keep getting interrupted by other passengers. The actors hit the right timing, making the scene laugh-out-loud funny while still commenting on the issue of toxic masculinity through Jack’s interactions with his fellow characters.
A highlight of the show was “Nice Guy v. The People,” which explores the entitlement men have towards sex through a court scene. The setting brings the perfect amount of satire to the story. Junior Camryn Lezama and senior Tamar Paserman portrayed their characters excellently, delivering their lines with passion that truly sold the scene.
The final sketch of the show was called “1 in 4,” and referenced the statistic of sexual assault on college campuses. “1 in 4” humanizes the characters despite their names being only numbers. The women go about their day while leaving the audience in suspense, waiting for the statistic to come true. Jones (1), junior Emma Sheola (2), senior Din Klein (3), junior Joann Huang (4) and senior Ren Klein (Man) delivered a moving scene, easily the most impactful of the show. The scene fully drove home the point that these women are actual people beyond just a number.
“Asking for It” also made creative use of Zoom. The performance was done live and the cast was able to use the greenscreen effect to change their settings quickly. The music transitions were also chosen well and related to the scenes, perfectly hinting at what was to come. In this show, the online format managed to neither detract from the quality of the show, nor steal the spotlight, instead simply aiding their performances as needed.
BETCo’s “Asking For It” is especially poignant after issues of sexual assault and misconduct have arisen around the high school. The show was both contemplative and confronting, asking its audience to critique their biases and thoughts about very serious issues, ultimately nailing the dynamic between comedy and gravity.