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Fort Fringe — Bedroom

Remaining Performances:

Saturday, July 21 12 p.m.
Sunday, July 22 8 p.m.
Friday, July 27, 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 28 9 p.m.
Sunday, July 29, 4:15 p.m.

They say: “In an era when the President proclaims that everyone should be able to go to college, this original work contrasts multiple, real, embarrassing perspectives on college expectations and reality in short vignettes.”

Stephanie’s Take: Homegrown Theatre’s the freshman 15/life in transition is exactly as it’s described, and nothing more: A recreation of interviews with collegiates sharing opinions of various facets of college life. It’s not a bad idea, but, for the most part, ends up as a regurgitation of cliché tales about the perils of growing up.

Dressed in the “college uniform”—jeans and a T-shirt—six actors sit in chairs on stage and talked directly to (or at, depending on the scene) the audience as a variety of university students. There are minimal interactions between the actors. Rather, individualistic quips and monolouges compose the 75-minute show, which comes off more like an on-stage documentary than a play.

Each scene focuses on a different, yet predictable, element of college: the purpose of it, the sex, the acclaimed “real world,” the parties, the diversity, the Greek life, etc. And lines are full of the “ums” and “likes” 18- to 21-year-olds notoriously overuse. But—given that the actors’ lines are based solely on interview transcripts—nothing comes of each scene. Like the end of a college hook-up, the implications of the characters’ stories aren’t clear.

Despite the script lacking a defined purpose, several actors carried the show. From “sorostitute” to pissed-off outsider, Bryanna Demerly (she wears the VCU t-shirt on stage) embodies each of her characters to a T. Her humility and compassion as a girl with a pregnancy scare, for example, represents a fresh perspective in the age of Teen Mom. And in an fiery monologue about her inability to afford a private university, Tenley Tyler Dakota Oher is commanding.

Better suited for a college stage, the freshman 15/life in transition was at least a good reality check. The four best years of your life aren’t all they’re chalked up to be.

See It If: You’re in college and get that it’s not a utopia.

Skip It If: You’re a high-school senior freaking out about next year.