Chickpeas plus tahini equals drama

Drama is an agricultural act at the Xperimental Theatre

by Greg Corradini

The cast members of Xperimental Theater’s “Free Hummus” don’t want to entertain the audience with plot resolutions.

They have a political purpose, even though it doesn’t support a Democratic or

Republican ideology. That purpose is to make students think more.

“Most college students, even the politically and internationally interested ones, are clueless about the details of the war in Iraq,” said Katy Howard, the performance’s director.

Containing five vignettes, no script and free hummus dip, “Free Hummus” is the performance of an actors’ workshop that explores dynamics of the war in Iraq, such as women’s oppression and skewed media representations.

“We’re kind of attacking the apathy that floats around in people’s minds,” Howard said.

Taking the mind as its aim, one vignette has the actors each performing a particular facet of the subconscious.

While one person represents the dreamer of the brain, another becomes the self-criticizing devil’s advocate.

“It’s about what people might be thinking in the back of their mind and what happens when those thoughts come to the surface of the brain,” Howard said.

The last thing Howard said she wanted to do was make another partisan play that just attacks President George W. Bush.

“I am so sick of all these anti-Bush plays,” Howard said. “We all have our opinions by now. As soon as people see that (a play) has anything to do with the war, they just turn off.”

But turn off they won’t.

Howard said none of the vignettes, which she prefers to call time-sensitive art displays, come to a clean and final resolution, a process she said she hopes will become motivational.

“It makes people uncomfortable,” Howard said. “We wanted them to feel that they would do something after they left the theater. At the very least, read and find out more about the issues (presented in the play) so that they do something about it when they vote on Nov. 2,” Howard said.

“Free Hummus”

When: 8 p.m. ThursdayñFriday

Where: Arena Theatre, second floor of the Rarig Center

Cost: Free

Contact: (612) 625 -1876