Director Ricardo Vila-Roger does an excellent job of transforming the often didactic text into believable dialogue among the characters at an imaginary college, where a racial slur has blossomed contentiously on social media.
Daria M. Sullivan delivers a strong performance as Shelby, the resident adviser who hides behind her cell phone instead of intervening to quell the growing maelstrom in her dorm. We all know this young person, who thinks life is what is put on a résumé, not what is actually lived.
Fiona (Gabrielle Kogut), who is white, insists that because she has been called “snowball” back home, she has the right to make a racial joke about her black classmate Alyssa (Tyler Cruz).
The dialogue veers from hip to preachy to gratuitous, and some lines, like Shelby’s “My world view is a bunch of memes cut and pasted together,” feel like they’re waiting for a rim shot. The cacophony scenes, which say nothing, say the most, with all the characters circling the set and talking at once. Vila-Roger stages these moments to powerful effect.
Leenie Baker’s lighting, and MarkoWest’s sound designs, keep the show glowing and flowing.