Indecent: One Hell of a Ride

Review of Indecent at Seattle Repertory Theatre

Written by Franklin High School Student, Sarah Luong.

Indecent Final 6 hitfue

The tale of a Jewish play featuring a kiss between two women, a piece of art that was refused by many, an edge-of-the-seat story of how this little play boosted to the top of the charts and made its way on Broadway; we are introduced to the Seattle Rep’s Indecent.

As we are taken back in time, we are focused on Sholem Asch, a Polish playwright who wrote the play The God of Vengeance. This play in particular contained “scandalous” themes, two of which were homosexuality and the rejection of one’s faith. Because the play contained such themes, the play could not be produced. A man by the name of Lemml, an amateur towards theater arts, saw its magnificence and helped Asch make his play a sensation. From Berlin to Moscow and to all of Europe, they made their way to America. As things begin to go downhill, Asch became more focused on the tragic events happening back at home, leaving The God of Vengeance in Lemml’s hands.

Watching Indecent was honestly one hell of a ride, it was a rollercoaster of emotions. There were many things that made the play an overall success, one of which was the use of music. By all means, music is an important aspect of theater art, as it amplifies the many scenes and parts with mood and feeling. The fact that they had the musicians themselves be a part on the stage brings a more joyful sense to the environment as well as bring more fun to the production. The use of music during the transitions from different scenes were very good. It kept the tension of the play alive while the workers on set were rearranging the furniture and props. If there was no music, it would have definitely brought down the play’s environment and lose its realism. As we are speaking on the topic of realism, the stage effects and sound control really have brought the play to life. The change of color with the stage lights helped set the mood and sense of the environment. If it was a sad scene, the area would shine an ominous blue light around the stage while a singular spotlight shines down upon the actor/actress. If it was a cheerful scene, expect loud, bright colored lights coming from all sides. Sound-play brings the audience’s attention towards the stage as well as apply realism to the play’s environment. If the setting is at the train station, play the sound of the train whistle. If the setting is out at the beach docks, play the sound of a seagull’s call. Sound is such an important aspect of life; without sound, we would be living in a world of dull silence. From the sound of gunshots, the falling grains of sand, to the pouring rain, Indecent brings itself from an act to reality.

Indecent examines the history of Asch’s work while having to deal with criticism and censorship. The show brings attention upon how far we have, or have not come, as well as how important art can impact people and spread various thoughts and ideas. As the curtain draws, you will be left astonished and breathless. It may be confusing at times but despite that, Indecent is a must-see. It must be heard of. It needs to be heard of. It deserves to be heard of.

Lead photo caption: The cast of Indecent. Photo by Browen Houck.

The TeenTix Press Corps promotes critical thinking, communication, and information literacy through criticism and journalism practice for teens. For more information about the Press Corps program see HERE.

This review was written as part of an Arts Criticism 101 workshop at Franklin High School in Ms. Geffner's 11th grade Language Arts classes, taught by Press Corps teaching artist Becs Richards.

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