“This is Our Youth” Preview

By Abbey Wark
Student Life Writer
Ever feel like you are stuck in between being a kid and an adult, or maybe you don’t quite feel like you belong anywhere yet? Chances are you aren’t the only one, and senior Dom LaGrotta is directing a play that will help you realize your life could be a lot more drama-filled than it already is.
“This is Our Youth,” written by Kenneth Lonergan is a play set in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is about three college age kids, drugs, and $15,000.
The play is the second senior directing thesis of the spring semester, which opens March 25 in Tawes at 7:30 p.m. The play features junior Brian Klose, sophomore Nate Krimmel, and freshman Emma Hoey. LaGrotta is a theatre major with a psychology minor, searching for a play for his thesis that a college audience would be able to relate to.

Kieran Culkin, Tavi Gevinson, and Michael Cera perform “This is Our Youth” on Broadway.
Kieran Culkin, Tavi Gevinson, and Michael Cera perform “This is Our Youth” on Broadway.

“What drew me to the play is this sense of adulthood that each of the characters are right on this cusp of,” he said. “The characters Warren, Dennis, and Jessica handle being in this limbo between adolescence and adulthood in very unique ways.”
Stage Manager and sophomore Sarah Graff added to LaGrotta’s description. “This play is about college-aged people,” she said. “They are struggling to find new friends, stand up for themselves, and to understand what love really is. Everyone will come out of the theatre with a different take. Some will be able to relate to the characters, or the situation, and others will be hung up on some of the play’s content. It just depends on what people need when they come to see it.”
Graff is no stranger to the theatre world, as she was also the Stage Manager for “Running” last semester. Over the six-week rehearsal process for “This is Our Youth,” she noticed that, “the dynamic between the actors has really clicked. From our first read through six weeks ago, to now, everyone has made leaps and bounds. Our director, Dom LaGrotta is able to highlight the actors’ natural abilities while bringing in his own opinions of what the play should be. Nate, Emma, and Brian all bring their A-Game to the play, and they’ve really made it their own. It’s honestly wonderful.”
LaGrotta said, “I’m really excited for people to see all the hard work, dedication, and heart that not only my actors have put into it, but also my whole team.”
He hopes that the audience members are able to find pieces of themselves in the characters, and that older audiences may remember what it really felt like to be that age.
When asked about what the audiences should be most excited for Graff responded with “Brunch, and that’s all I’ll say,” as she hinted to a particular feature included in the play. To find out more about brunch and “This is Our Youth,” head to the theatre department’s webpage and reserve tickets on Eventbrite. The play is showing March 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Tawes Theatre in Gibson Center for the Arts.

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