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‘Too Much Light…’ Entertains at a Frantic Pace

Bayani Decastro, Jr. picks the next play to perform as called out by the audience at a dress rehearsal Thursday evening at Palomar College Nov. 12, 2015. (Patty Hayton/The Telescope)
Bayani Decastro, Jr. picks the next play to perform as called out by the audience at a dress rehearsal Thursday evening at Palomar College Nov. 12, 2015. (Patty Hayton/The Telescope)
Bayani Decastro jr. picks the next play to perform as called out by the audiance at a dress rehearsal Thursday evening at Palomar College Nov. 12. Patty Hayton / The Telescope
Bayani Decastro jr. picks the next play to perform as called out by the audiance at a dress rehearsal Thursday evening at Palomar College Nov. 12. Patty Hayton / The Telescope

“Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind” is like binge watching two-minute plays on Netflix where the scroll bar is a clothesline and the audience shouts out their selection.

“Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind”, performed at Palomar’s Studio Theatre, is devised as an amalgamation of 30 different plays set within 60 minutes. The design ensures variety and nonstop action.

The play is simply “organized chaos,” according to the director Annie Hinton, who is faculty at Palomar. The show is a non-reproduceable, always original event with the order of play chosen by the audience.

Even before entering the theatre the interactive experience began. Each person is given a name tag with a whimsical moniker, from ‘Random Baby’, or ‘A Bob Dylan Dragon’ to ‘The Meow-ster.’

The performing area is open and simply cloaked in black curtains with a clothesline strung across it. Upon the clothesline are 30 selections of two minute plays. The audience decides what is performed next.

“It’s very involving when the audience feels they have a part of saying whether we go or not,” Director Annie Hinton said.

She added that the plays are wide ranging in style or feel. “It’s different and it has a variety, there’s performance art pieces, there’s political stuff, but it’s so appropriate, there’s personal revelation, and there’s young adult issues about love and things like that. It is a wide range,” Hinton said.

In two minutes, the cast may make the audience laugh hysterically and the next selection the studio could be silent with deep reflection.

Audience member Alex Bush said, “It was very creative. I liked how they engaged the audience. Every play was different, it was very cool.”

The cast is made up of Palomar students, and their range of experience varies. This is the first play Kofi Ofori Roxanne has been in. Chad Theriault has been in about 30 productions, and this is his second with the Palomar theater.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Theriault said. “The audience is involved a lot. But besides it being funny, there’s also a couple (of plays) that make you think.”

Audience members said actor Garrett Sanders was noteworthy for his comedic skill. Sanders has been in multiple Palomar plays.

“Garrett stood out to me because he was just silly and goofy and really made me giggle for no apparent reason,” said audience member Beverly Hinderliter.

The chaos is most prevalent during the transitions to the next play. The cast careens around the stage jumping at papers, clearing the props and setting up the next. Attendee Brenna Heraty said, “[It had] fun energy.”

The play is the fruit of the hard work and dedication of the students and the faculty involved, organizers said.

“It offers each actor a role that they could do right now and excel in, and [the actors] had stretch roles, so it was fun,” Hinton said. “… they send 100 plays and then you choose 30, so it took weeks and weeks to figure out which 30 to do.”

The time and dedication was visible to those who saw the fast-paced production, as was the fun atmosphere.

For more information on the upcoming events at Palomar, visit palomarperforms.com.

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‘Too Much Light…’ Entertains at a Frantic Pace