‘Museum’ and the art of life

The proper definition for the word “Museum” reads as follows: A building in which objects of historical, scientific, artistic, or cultural interest are stored and exhibited. Whatever lies within the grand halls and rooms of said museum ultimately relies on the Museum Director. The Museum Director is essentially a content specialist who regulates what gets selected to be presented in the institution.

No, this is not an article filled with random facts about museums; rather, the facts previously written are meant to define the foundations of the play “Museum,” directed by William Korf. In “Museum,” we get exactly what a museum fanatic would expect when visiting one. The subtle twist in “Museum” is that the audience is ultimately the “museum fanatic,” while the cast are the works of art.

This fact can help define the play, and perfectly blend the play’s definition with the original definition (for museum). But this time, the original definition for the word museum can be reworded to fit the context of the play.

The proper definition for the play “Museum” reads as follows: A culturally diverse cast performing an art of interest that is to be examined by the audience, led by a director who manages who and what is to be presented during this play.

Subtleties like this help add depth to a play that, on the surface, is seemingly only focused on delivering hilariously over-the-top comedy.

“Museum” can be perceived in a variety of ways and still deliver quality material. Are you looking for non-stop, chaotically beautiful comedy that can help take you to another plane of existence for 90-minutes? It can do that.

Want to examine cultural commentary while poking fun at human-nature? Again, “Museum” can do that.

There is no main character in “Museum.” In fact, the ensemble cast works together so naturally, there is no need for one. From the beginning, to the middle, and to the end of the play, different characters straddle into the exhibit called “The Broken Silence,” which is the only stage used for “Museum.”

Ironically, the “Broken Silence” exhibit expresses a repeated theme throughout the play, a play that never takes a moment of silence in between its characters hilarious banter. Each character tells a story. From the security guard’s struggle to maintain order throughout the exhibit, to all the character’s background reactions and expressions, there is something to be examined and enjoyed, much like a real museum.

The humor in “Museum” relies heavily on dialogue, and it excels in that regard. What’s interesting is the use of the actual museum exhibit. Before the play, the audience was allowed to walk on stage and admire the artwork that was on display; again, mimicking a real-life museum. People filled the stage, took photo’s, admired the art, and then proceeded back to their seats. Because of this, when looking back up at the performing cast, it felt as if we were actually inside the museum as visitors watching everything hilariously unfold in a chaotically beautiful and immersing way.

“Museum” is a play with depth; providing over-the-top humor and audience immersion. It gives us a look at society and all of human nature’s beautiful (and some not so beautiful) flaws, while holding back on any political criticism or commentary. It’s refreshing, because in a society where criticism and bad news can be found around every corner, in every movie, and in every T.V. show, we need a break every now and then in order to enjoy the subtle beauties of life.

Photo by Alex Rodriguez

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