Something Lurks Beneath the Surface at Shattered Globe
Three women sit together in a stark white conference room.
One dressed in slip-on clogs and cuffed jeans, Anjani (Simran Deokule) sits sullenly trying to quietly suss out the others.
Another wearing a neatly tucked in blouse and beige heels, Gigi (Isabelle Muthiah) tries to appear put together and unfazed by the three of them being together again.
The third in a blazer and dress pants, her look completed with an accompanying clipboard, Mel (Kianna Rose) is bubbly and positive, just like a sorority member should be.
They sit in egg shaped office roller chairs with plenty of distance between them. It’s a far cry from the three of them huddled together against the cold, giggling as they wait to enter a sorority house. We ask ourselves, what happened here? It seems everything about their relationship changed. We slowly learn what happened in the past two years that caused this rift between them all and how damaging Greek Life can be in Radial Gradient.
Unpacking the System
Upon entering the theater, we receive a word bank with common Greek Life terminology defined, so for those of us unfamiliar won’t feel lost as Radial Gradient dives very deep into this system. Interspersed between the present day conference room in 2020, we bounce back and forth to the start of rush in winter 2017.
In the conference room, Mel tries to coax her ex-friends into discussing and sharing their experiences as women of color in the Greek system. A radial gradient appears on the screen in front of three young women. Varying shades of black to white gradually fade into one another, emanating out from a central point.
Easily flashing back to 2017 with a few set and costume changes, we get bits and pieces of what happened to all three of these women throughout the rush period and how the experience ultimately changed them all.
For this writer, some plot points were confusing and puzzling regarding whether they were important to the plot or not. As a result of this, when it all falls apart at the end it feels somewhat rushed. Yes, it is nonetheless impactful when the theater grows dark, fighting breaks out, emails flash across the screen, and the truth is finally revealed.
Radial Gradient would be a good fit for those who love plays that discuss and dissect social issues. It also might be a good fit for someone who also had a similar experience or someone who wants to learn more about a new perspective.
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Simran Deokule (Anjani)
Kianna Rose (Melanie)
Isabelle Muthiah (Gigi)
Jasmine Sharma (Playwright)
Grace Dolezal-Ng (Director)
Lavina Jadhwani (Dramaturg)
Sydney Lynne Thomas (Scenic Design)
Isa Noe (Assistant Scenic Design)
Hailey Rakowiecki (Costume Design)
Jason Lynch (Lighting Design)
Christopher Kriz + (Original Music and Sound Design)
Parker Molacek (Projection Design)
Judy Anderson* (Executive Production Manager)
Richie Vavrina (Production Manager)
Evan Sposato (Technical Director)
Yama Pouye (Assistant Director)
January 27 - March 11, 2023
Sundays - 3 pm
Thursdays - 8 pm
Fridays - 8 pm
Saturdays - 8 pm *added performance on Saturday, March 11 at 3 pm
1229 W. Belmont Ave.
General Run: $45
For more information and tickets visit the Shattered Globe Theatre website.
Photos: Michael Brosilow
About the Author: Alexis Bugajski
Alexis is a theater reviewer, travel bug, media specialist, and burger & beer enthusiast. During the day she works in the advertising business as a senior communications designer. When night falls, or when she can escape to New York, she’s hitting the theaters to see as many shows as she can. And whenever she’s not at her desk or in the audience, she’s out seeking the best burger and beer offerings in Chicago.
Editor's Note: Click here to read more Picture this Post articles by Alexis Bugajski