When it comes to the Savannah State production, “Trapped,” several words may surface in the minds of students who were in attendance. Unfortunately, none of those adverbs would be remotely appealing.
Presented by True 2 Life Productions, “Trapped” centered on the character of Roxanne, a young woman in touch with God. Along with her best friend, Jeremiah, she enrolls at the fictional Mitchell Levitt University, a prestigious HBCU renowned for its famed Greek organizations.
Roxanne soon becomes entangled in a wicked sorority complete with backstabbing zealots, sassy heathens and calculating vixens. Wanting to prove herself, she decides to stick with it, and things go downhill from there – in more ways than one.
The biggest problem with the religious play, which hit Lee Hall Auditorium on Friday and Saturday night, wasn’t that it was exposing the truth on what goes on behind the scenes of some Greek organizations. Instead, the trouble with “Trapped” was that it was an overly exaggerated and prolonged play of inflated proportions.
A theatrical production that engulfs four hours without an intermission is not a good thing as evidence by the numerous students that chose to leave during Friday’s debut performance. Instead of focusing on a specific storyline, “Trapped” seemed to go everywhere at once and while subplots can sometimes add to a film or play, it seemed to backfire in this particular case. Simply put, there was just too much going on.
With a cast of nearly 40 actors and actresses, some characters were lost in the mix. Such is the case with the character of Jeremiah, who seemed to begin the play as an essential supporting character only to disappear throughout the entire middle act and turn up at the very end in a scene that may have left a few audience members scratching their heads.
Aside from fleeting scenes that seemed to disrupt the play’s continuation, “Trapped” did boast strong dance numbers complete with sophisticated steps and stylish moves. The acting also proved to be satisfactory and each character was portrayed in a realistic fashion.
Alas, good acting cannot save a drawn out script. Perchance, if the writers minimize the plot to two hours, focus the story specifically on one central character and provide audience members with the play’s spiritual message quicker, perhaps things would flow better.
If not, theatergoers will continue to feel cheated, tired and ultimately ‘trapped’ in the auditorium, themselves.