IT’S SO LEARNING (Berserker Residents): 2015 Fringe Review 51

Bradley Wrenn, Dawn Falato, and Lee Minora in the Berserker Residents’ IT’S SO LEARNING (Photo credit: Kate Raines)

Bradley Wrenn, Dawn Falato, and Lee Minora in the Berserker Residents’ IT’S SO LEARNING (Photo credit: Kate Raines)

Inspired by the confrontational performance style of Red Bastard and the common (and often traumatic!) experiences of childhood education, The Berserker Residents explore human anxiety and vulnerability through their over-the-top brand of smart alternative comedy in the group’s latest original work IT’S SO LEARNING. Set in a “SimEdu Center” classroom, where you are the overgrown kids, the familiar chairs, blackboards, notebooks, buzzers, and video monitors bring back memories of school, with all of its pressures, challenges, rules, and control. But it’s not likely you’ve ever had a teacher as funny as Justin Jain, Bradley Wrenn, Dawn Falato, or Lee Minora. The only disappointment in the hilarious 70-minute ensemble-devised piece is that Berserker Dave Johnson, who contributed to its conception and creation, had to withdraw from the cast due to illness. But the others, under Adrienne Mackey’s well-timed “outside-eye” direction, keep the laughs coming and the students’ nerves on edge!

To avoid any spoilers, suffice it to say that this “highly interactive” show comes with a warning: if you’re not comfortable being called on, picked on, or otherwise humiliated by these eccentric teachers, you might want to rethink your attendance. If you decide in advance to play hooky (but trust me, you shouldn’t!), your ticket price will be refunded–and you won’t even get your knuckles rapped with a wooden ruler. If only it had been that easy for kids to escape the stress in real school . . . [RUBA Club, 416 Green Street] September 11-20, 2015; fringearts.com/its-so-learning.

 

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About the author

Debra Miller

Debra holds a PhD in Art History from the University of Delaware and teaches at Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ. She is a judge for the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre, Philadelphia Arts and Culture Correspondent for Central Voice, and has served as a Commonwealth Speaker for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and President of the Board of Directors of Da Vinci Art Alliance. Her publications include articles, books, and catalogues on Renaissance, Baroque, American, Pre-Columbian, and Contemporary Art, and feature articles on the Philadelphia theater scene.