Being the Broadway enthusiast that I am, I was ecstatic to find out the plays put on by the REP here at the University of Delaware are of equal caliber to the shows lining the streets of Manhattan. For a little over two weeks, the REP has been showcasing two plays at once: Red and The Things We Do For Love. The plays are wildly different; while one focuses on abstract messages of life through art, the other delves into the twisted feelings of love present in a three-story home. However, despite their contrasting tones and messages, both scripts are compelling, brilliantly executed, and effortlessly manage to captivate audiences.

Red highlights the relationship between Mark Rothko, a well-established artist, and his new employee, Ken, in a breathtakingly intimate performance in the Studio Theatre at the University of Delaware. The two characters battle through their individual ideas concerning art, life, and commercialism for ninety minutes with no intermission. It is an organic display of passion as principles of the past conflict and interchange with introductions to the new world of art. There are no overdramatic costumes, flaunty sets, or any other material objects that would take away the rawness of the performance. As an audience member, I felt every pulsating wave of emotion emitting from both actors on stage and left feeling inspired by the ideas presented throughout the show.

Two nights after, I attended The Things We Do For Love and braced myself for almost the complete opposite of Red. The show had the large audience laughing in shock at the copious amounts of humor and heart-warming moments among the characters all living in such close proximity. Very quickly, the friendships in the play become strained by budding romances that eventually turn the house into a toxic environment driven by sexual desires and abusive tendencies. The cleverness of the three-story set and the ways in which the actors filled the space with subtle humor made this play one of my favorites I’ve seen by the REP. Plus, I (unashamedly) automatically love anything with romance.

I will definitely be purchasing season tickets to the REP next semester because I cannot bear to miss any of these plays with these talented actors, designers, and directors. I highly recommend seeing any show offered by the REP because I can guarantee it will be expertly executed and completely enthralling. Red and The Things We Do For Love were the perfect two plays to end the year here at UD!

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Ashley Dayne Bostwick