We Might Be Experimenting On You
nytheatre.com review by Robert Attenweiler
February 27, 2011
We Might Be Experimenting on You, an interactive theater piece whose title should immediately get your mind spinning on what it is you, as the audience, might be interacting with, has put me in a tough spot. As the audience prepared to leave the theater, the performers implored us—myself included (as they had properly identified me as the reviewer)—not to give away what happens in the show … but to still encourage people to come. So, here I am, tasked with talking about a play that doesn’t want to be talked about—not in specifics, anyway.
I will take writer/performers Kym Bernazky and Melanie Jones up on their offer and keep this brief—but I can’t keep from talking about something, so I’ll talk about myself. A lot is made of how a reviewer’s disposition can impact how he/she views a show and, while I’ll defend my objectivity (by and large) to the end, I’ll admit that when I walked through The Red Room’s dressing room—where the audience enters; their coats are checked and they are not given programs—I smelled audience interaction and I, for one, was not really feeling like interacting. 20 minutes later, after firmly digging in my heels for a time and calming myself with the thought that “They wouldn’t dare single out the reviewer for any potentially awkward interplay,” I found that I was actually having a really fun time. I was bonding with an audience of strangers, I was riding each new “experiment” pleased to be in the laboratory ushered along by the affable Bernazky and Jones who, in their program notes (you get the program after the show) say “Thank you for whatever small leaps or giant steps you may have taken with us. Thanks for the trust.”
We Might Be Experimenting on You is about the small leaps, really, and it’s not, in the end, particularly experimental. But, Bernazky and Jones, who are in fact quite experienced veterans of the indie theater scene, quickly earn the audience’s trust, making the show a fun experience.