Gen X: Trapped in the Belly of the Beast

by Austin Giles

Horizon Reporter

Generation X is displaced youth, lost without meaning, a defining moment or a future. The generation is usually regarded as people born between 1965 and 1982 who matured in the 80s and 90s. The singer, Jim Morrison, once said, “I think the highest and lowest points are the important ones. Anything else is just in between.” Generation X is the anonymous in between of American history.

            “They are trapped,” said Gerry Large, the director of “Augustine’s Confessions”, a play that deals with Generation X set in urban America.

Some of the characters have jobs, some don’t. They don’t really know who they are or what they want to do. Most are college educated, in their late 20s and early 30s and are stuck in that transition from education to career, said Large.

He and members of his cast touch on many themes that can be found in the play. “Life is crazy chaos,” said Cecilee Beck, an actress in the fall production. “Everybody has a certain level of insanity.” One of Beck’s challenges is finding out where her character fits into all that, she said.

Rehearsal is three times a week, backstage in the Syre auditorium. Large sits as a single audience member, watching as actors run through lines of a scene. He interjects to give advice.

“When you freeze, you’ve got to stay frozen,” says Large. The actors on the bare stage stand still, waiting for their cue to be unfrozen.

The production requires a big cast to function. John Augustine wrote the script originally consisting of 20 short plays and many characters. Whatcom’s cast and crew of 17 will be performing 14 of the shorts.

 “It’s tricky directing so many one act plays,” said Large. One of the challenges is building continuity from scene to scene, he added.

Large said he can see it in his head but will have to wait until later rehearsals to see how it really fits together.

“It’s going to be really funny,” said Phillip Kaltenbach, an actor in the play. “Everybody is really emotionally unstable.”

The fall play will run from Nov. 17 to 19, starting at 7:30 p.m. each day. It will be held in the Syre auditorium and is $6 for general admission.


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