Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Horizon Theatre’s Third skewers academe's liberal prejudice

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 9:11 PM

click to enlarge LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME: Marianne Fraulo (left), Tom Thon, Mary Lynn Owen, Cara Mantella and Will Bradley in Third
  • LIES MY TEACHER TOLD ME: Marianne Fraulo (left), Tom Thon, Mary Lynn Owen, Cara Mantella and Will Bradley in Third

Professor Laurie Jameson exhorts her students to challenge the dominant power structure and antiquated ways of thinking at the outset of Wendy Wasserstein’s Third. Played by Mary Lynn Owen, Laurie doesn’t quite realize she belongs to the dominant power structure as a lauded literature professor at a Northeastern college, the kind of liberal bulwark that boasts America’s first transgender dorm, but no fraternities.

Laurie must confront her own complacency and preconceived notions with the enrollment of a new student, Woodson Bull III (Will Bradley), a college wrestler who prefers to go by “Third” and aspires to be a sports agent. Laurie quickly pegs him as a Young Republican jock-type born with a silver spoon in his mouth. The beginning of the play, directed by Lisa Adler at Horizon Theatre, coincides with the U.S. congressional vote to authorize the Iraq War. Third reminds Laurie of all the reasons she hates George W. Bush. His paper on King Lear sets off an academic scandal that causes the professor to badly misunderestimate the student.

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(Photo courtesy Horizon Theatre Company)

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