Set in an uptown New York City apartment, this play presents a collection of directionless, college-age slackers who are obsessed with the usual sex, drugs, music, and the fleeting chance of finding meaning in their lives. Needless to say, this dark, sometimes comedic, drama of self-destruction is a story to which Wesleyan students probably won’t have a lot of trouble relating.
Written in 1995, “This Is Our Youth” held a special place in the hearts of both first time director Sarah Corey ’15 and the trio of actors starring in this Second Stage production. The play focuses on Warren (Conor Boughton ’15), a pot-smoking college drop-out who moves in with his close friend and drug dealer Dennis (Zach Carlson ’14) after his dad kicks him out of the house. At first, Dennis is reluctant to host his new guest, but then it is revealed that Warren has stolen $15,000 from his father. What follows is essentially a downward spiral as the duo explores the opportunities for drugs and profit that this money could bring, including an opportunity for Warren to make a move on his long time crush, Jessica, played by Julia Black ’13.
This is definitely a play with which students can identify, especially considering the existential crises that generally accompany these stressful times of finals. The true heart of this play is the friendship between Dennis and Warren, a give-and-take relationship of screwing each other over, only to turn around and display genuine acts of loyalty. Over the course of the play, as well as a series of joints (filled with chamomile, of course), we steadily find out more about the duo and the factors behind their mutual breakdown. Corey believes that the pair ultimately embodies a number of the philosophies explored by college students today.
“I think there’s that same sensibility where we had so much hope to begin with, but now there’s a mix of hopelessness and contemplation of how long our life, and youth, really are,” she commented.
The show goes up in the WestCo Café, a space that perfectly complements its grunge feel, this Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. The tickets are, as usual, free. As a show that arguably reflects a lot of college experiences, it’s definitely not one to be missed. Plus, the chamomile joints give the room a nice tea smell.