Backstage Review: “Admissions” at RAT

‘Admissions’ takes on the question of how do we quantify equality?

Photos and Review by Dana Nollsch

With one part comedy, one part white privilege bound together with a talented and passionate cast, ‘Admissions’ asks that very question.
Admissions by Joshua Harmon, Directed by Debra Lynn Hull and Performed at Restless Artist Theater from July 8th through July 18th

Sherri Rosen Mason (Robin Soli) is the Dean of Admissions at Hillcrest, a New Hampshire prep school. Sherri, together with her husband, Bill Mason, the school’s headmaster (Bob Ives), have a goal to bring diversity to Hillcrest. We find out that this goal has become a bit of an obsession over the years.
Sherri and Bill’s son, Charlie Luther Mason (Hunter Holt), is about to leave Hillcrest for Yale, as long as he is accepted. But, as we find out, Charlie’s future at Yale may not be in the cards, but Perry, his best friend, is accepted into Yale. This turn of events may be due to Yale’s quest for diversity, as Perry’s father is a person of color.

As you can imagine, these events bring everyone to a place of deep introspection.

‘Admissions’ centers around the Mason family.

The Mason Family is torn. Do they use their influence to help Charlie get into Yale or perhaps another Ivy League School? This brings tempers to a head and gives us some compelling performances.
This family dynamic is not all that there is to ‘Admissions’; there is Roberta (Terri Gray), who works for Hillcrest and is charged with creating the school’s catalog. But, as you may have guessed, this is not an easy task. Her challenge is to create the look of diversity but still be true to reality. This storyline I found particularly interesting being in marketing myself.
Perry’s Mother, Ginnie Peters (Juli Fair), relationship with Sherri ends up strained to say the least. Ginnie and Sherri have been friends for quite some time. But the subject of race and equality has been simmering in the background. The situation with their sons and admission to Yale brings a lot of hidden animosity to the forefront.

A beautiful blending of story and acting

As with any well-done play, the glue that brings the story together is the acting, direction, and the set. Restless Artist Theater’s production of ‘Admissions’ is no exception. The acting is filled with passion and energy. The cast and the direction bring this story to the audience in a very easy-to-enjoy way that is refreshing given the subject matter.
On a personal note, when I read the synopsis of ‘Admissions,’ I had doubts that this play was for me. As Michelle and I watched the play, I was pleasantly surprised. Given the subject matter, ‘Admissions’ is surprisingly even-toned and unoffensive. Many times writers go for shock and sensationalism. Thankfully, this is not the case with ‘Admissions.’

Sherri Rosen Mason (Robin Soli)
Bill Mason (Bob Ives)
Charlie Luther Mason (Hunter Holt)
Ginnie Peters (Juli Fair)
Roberta (Terri Gray)

Show Dates and Times:
Friday, July 8 @ 7:30pm
Saturday, July 9 @ 7:30pm
Sunday, July 10 @ 2:00pm
Monday, July 11 @ 6:30pm
Friday, July 15 @ 7:30pm
Saturday, July 16 @ 7:30pm
Sunday, July 17 @ 2:00pm
Monday, July 18 @ 6:30pm

Check out Restless Artist Theater’s website for more details here:
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