A murder mystery unfolds in the turn of the century England as a party awaits a war hero...ZAP! A disgruntled writer plots revenge on a fellow word craftsman steals and publishes his life story...ZAP! The classic Shakespearean play, Richard III begins...ZAP! A Russian woman is dragged to live in her...ZAP! A one woman show, performance art...ZAP! A couple sees it as no big deal when they find a corpse...ZAP! An artist plots to run away from his Southern home while his grandmother...ZAP!
So is the play by Paul Fleischman, which seems to stem from a conversation I had with my co-worker one afternoon about how short my attention span has become when watching movies on television. And that's just the idea of the play, isn't it not? How we continually flip channels during commercial breaks or during the most important parts of a movie or TV series just to see what's on the other channel? Theatre is dying and television is the box they'll bury it in.
It's a different high school play and quite the humorous read - reminiscent of Noises Off at some scenes. It starts off with something experimental, a play controlled by the audience. The idea is to give the audience remote controls to "change the channel" at any given time. A computer in the back will tally up the number of times a change is requested and when a sufficient number is hit - ZAP! - the play changes. Cramming seven plays into one single piece, Paul Fleischman not only keeps us entertain but holds a mirror to ourselves, examining how disenchanted and jaded we've become with the arts.
Zap is a must for every high school aged student and drama teacher.
Until next time, keep on huntin'.