You know what I hate? When someone believes anything they hear. But that would make me a hypocrite, because we’ve all fallen victim to gullibility at least once, right?
Brimming with themes of losing one’s soul to the fervor of political power, The Election incited an irate epiphany of media’s dominance over the political realm.
The play is a surprisingly detailed parody of the recent Presidential election using a local ASB election, and the plot goes to great lengths to make parallels: for example, in the first debate, one of the candidates appears tired and out-of-sorts because of excess homework.
In the beginning, an enormous fan club fawns over Mark Davenport’s (Montana Wilson ) every breath. Though he really doesn’t have any stances or opinions, he’s well-liked, and that’s enough to win him a following. But the snarling media (remember, this is a high school) soon manipulates the entire public into falling in love with the pristine image of Christy Martin (Montana Ray ). She, in contrast with Mark, has opinions—she wants to turn the school meals vegan—and she plays dirty, attacking Mark and twisting his words at every turn. And then the media turns back to favoring Mark, and then back to Christy…and then to the puppy-eyed, forever alone sidekick Carl? In the end, neither Mark nor Christy win, and, in a surprising plot twist, it is revealed that the whole election has been controlled by the high school media in a purely money-driven enterprise. Much like modern politics, the voters and even the candidates forget what the campaigns are really about, and instead buy into the simplistic back-and-forth attacks.
The most potent source of brilliance throughout the production were the actors. Although the plot deadened slightly from extraneous dialogue, the overall performance proved compelling because of the performers’ stellar role execution. And their job wasn’t easy—some scenes required on-the-spot improvisation, and though the lack of script was evident, on the whole the actors did an admirable job.
In a world where we believe whatever we hear, or we manipulate for personal benefit, media-fed lies become facts, and that’s true for a high school election just as it’s true for a Presidential election.
Chock-full of sarcastic wit and superb acting, The Election parodied our presidential election along with the purely conniving nature of political schemes.