Past mistakes haunt the promising futures of three underprivileged high school seniors (Chris Robertson, Joshua Brelsford, Tom Schmitt) when a strange benefactor (Evan Leone) offers a full scholarship for the winner of a unspecified competition on a remote island. Their trip is strange from the beginning with events that are not really explained later in the play, but once they reach the island the story leaves the humorous interludes behind and focuses on the revelations.
While themes like struggling for a future when expensive education is unavailable to so many and acceptance of oneself or others being different are firmly rooted in the contemporary world, they are not served well by the unnecessary sentimentality of the play. This relatively short script seems to want to be about too many issues at the same time, and ends up losing depth because of that. Most of the actors do a good job, but some of them made the already uncomfortable moral lessons quite cringeworthy. The decision to use an empty stage is economical and leaves room for the imagination, but it’s also somewhat problematic with a play that asks us to envision it takes place on a lush island outside of civilization. [The Off Broad Street Theater, 1636 Sansom Street] September 19-21, 2014: http://fringearts.com/skin-in-the-game