I’ve always been a fan of plays and musicals. I’ve seen more than a handful of Broadway musicals and always attended my high school and college theater productions.
Last night my mom and I saw “The Babylon Line,” at the Powerhouse Theater at Vassar College. I had never been there before, and I’m so glad my mom won tickets on the radio.
We had second-row aisle seats, which provided the perfect vantage point of the stage; an estimated 140 people sat behind us.
The play takes place in 1967 Long Island. It stars a 38-year-old writer who commutes from the city once a week to teach a class of six adult-education creative writing students.
His class consists of a clique of three high-class women, one female recluse, a man affected by his time serving in the Vietnam War and a very quiet but spunky young man.
The actors and actresses all gave phenomenal performances. With their thick New York accents I’m all too familiar with, quick wit and ability to transform characters with only a change of props and mannerisms, there was never a dull moment in this show.
All of the students have their own writing process and personal revelations. While some are hesitant and seek a specific writing assignment, others find a therapeutic means by writing about their pasts.
With a simple set and creative transitions, “The Babylon Line sends” a strong message to its audience: write because you can and because you have something worth saying.
As a recent college grad who aspires to become a writer, I am inspired by how writing impacted these characters’ lives. Professor Port’s message rang through to me as clearly as it did his one student: take chances and allow yourself to become so passionate that you could shatter the world in a minute.
As one student so successfully turned her life around through writing, I hope my efforts can one day have a similar result.