‘[sic]’ pulls postgrad life out of parents’ house, onto stage

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“[sic]” is the latest play from Youngblood Theatre Company. Photo courtesy of Tess Cinpinski.

“[sic]” is a play about the struggles of the postgraduate. The play, which starts its two-week run at Bucketworks tonight, presents the situation all college students must inevitably face: entering the real world.

Written by Melissa James Gibson and directed by Jason Economus, the play is being performed by the Youngblood Theatre Company. The cast includes ensemble members Tess Cinpinski and Benjamin James Wilson with James Boylan, Anna Figlesthaler, and Matt Koester.

Economus says “[sic]” is a combination of elements the theatre company is familiar with and new elements that it’s working with, including the stage itself.

“Bucketworks is a really interesting place, almost like a conference boardroom, but we are turning it into this hallway of the apartment,” Economus said. “It’s also different from other plays because it’s almost written in reverse, so I feel like the text is a little more challenging than things they have done in the past.”

The title comes from the Latin expression “sic erat scriptum,” meaning “thus it was written.” “Sic” is also added to the end of a quote to indicate it was copied exactly from the original source, including any errors made in the original. Economus noted that the title comes into play in a very subtle but interesting way during the show.

There is a moment in the play when the character Babette focuses on a significant mistake, and while the exact context will not be revealed until the opening performance, Economus said the reference to the play’s name serves as an important plot point.

“So often, people are going around saying ‘I didn’t make the mistake’ or ‘I didn’t do anything wrong,'” Economus said. “But the mistake is actually making people interesting.”

The format of “[sic]” is nonlinear but follows the exploits of three neighbors, Babette, Theo and Frank, who share the same hallway in an apartment complex. Throughout the play, Babette is striving to get a manuscript published, Theo is trying to get his missing wife back and Frank attempts to become an auctioneer. The play is about how each character deals with trying to get what they want, Economus explained.

The nonlinear format of the play provides a unique way to portray the actions of each character. Economus believes this format leads to a more realistic plot because life doesn’t necessarily flow in a formulated pattern.

“There are parts of the play where there’s a scene that will happen and you’ll say ‘What is that? Where did that come from? Why are they doing that?’” Economus said.

The unique format of the play is credited to writer Melissa James Gibson. Economus believes that Gibson wrote the play this way to capture the absurdity of life.

“There’s a great quote that (Gibson) wrote where she says that she doesn’t think that lives behave,” Economus said. “Your life doesn’t behave in certain roles; things just keep happening. So I think there’s something about the play that is very absurd and playful.”

The setting of the play is not the years right after college, but rather the years after the years right after college.

“It’s the moment where you’ve been out of college for maybe six years, and now you’re thinking about the next step of your life,” Economus said. “Maybe your dreams you thought you would have at thirty didn’t quite happen, so how do you go on at that point? What do you do at that point when life isn’t as fun as you thought it would be?”

While the characters in the play are in their mid-twenties to early thirties, Economus thinks anyone can relate to the story because each person is able to relate to at least one of the characters. The audience can see themselves, a neighbor or a friend on stage because everyone has lived through these tough times in life. The characters try to connect with other people while also attempting to find jobs they care about, experiences Economus thinks everyone has lived through or will live through, including future Marquette grads.

“I think if you’re coming out of college at Marquette, (“[sic]”) would be a very interesting play to watch because you’re seeing your life a few years down the road.”  Economus said.

He hopes that the play will provide students with the opportunity to glimpse their lives a few years down the road and offer them a peek at how life is after college. The play will show how these years are confusing and can often cause a person to lose herself or himself. It’s also a view into deciding what kinds of people are worth a person’s time after college.

A quirky and relatable play, “[sic]” is sure to be no mistake.

“[sic]” is playing from September 20-October 5 with tickets are available for $15 through Brown Paper Tickets. Online ticket sales will end at 6:30 each night. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, cash only, at 7:30pm, with the show starting at 8. 

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