By Janna Velasquez
The sunset was crisp and breezy as people began to fill into the beautiful War Memorial Opera House in the Civic Center on Saturday, April 23 for the first performance of Animal Farm Feeding Frenzy. There were multiple events happening, so it was a bit confusing which event was going on where.
Eventually I was able to find the Taube Atrium Theater on the top floor. It was worth the hunt. The Atrium Theater was intimate and sleek, with gray walls and white trim, reminiscent of a museum Imax theater or planetarium. The room filled quickly with masked spectators.
The audience did not have the luxury of social distancing, because it was a packed house. The stage set was simple, yet elegant, with detailed plasterwork on the ceiling. The notably diverse cast of animals were all in worker jumpsuits and beanies with animal ears sewn on. I found it quite clever that the cast was wearing garments commonly associated with laborers in the working class.
There was a brief explanation of the piece by Patricia Miller, instructor and director of the Theater Department, who discussed the satirical inclusion of mega-corporations and contemporary media.
Miller also made a plea to save City College, explaining that if we fail to act, this very well may be the last production for the theater department. The play was thoughtfully adapted and well performed with good pacing and creative expression. The sound, lights, and timing were impressively spot on. The production flowed smoothly around the intermission.
From where I sat, I was able to hear the actors clearly. The story of Animal Farm, by George Orwell, is familiar to many, as it was often taught to students in schools around the country. This updated story is timed perfectly with our current state of affairs. One can only hope the warnings are heeded.