Theater Review: ‘Curse’ depicts economic hard times

Lambo, a sheep from Cal Poly Pomona, is one of the stars in “Curse of the Starving Class,” a play by Sam Shepard. The performance directed by Steve Kent will continue its run Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The last performance is at 2 p.m. Sunday. / photo by Rhiannon Mim
Lambo, a sheep from Cal Poly Pomona, is one of the stars in “Curse of the Starving Class,” a play by Sam Shepard. The performance directed by Steve Kent will continue its run Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The last performance is at 2 p.m. Sunday. / photo by Rhiannon Mim

Samantha Sincock
Web Editor

The Dailey Theatre brought realism to rough economic times with the opening of “Curse of the Starving Class” last weekend.

The setting of the stage captivates the audience with a kitchen from a 1970s home.

The retro refrigerator, stove and table add to the ’70s feel.

Behind the set is a picture of a house in the middle of a desolate piece of land

The backdrop had images projected on it that change with every monologue.

Ella, played by senior theater major Jessica Swapp, is a fed up mother trying to deal with the situation she finds herself in.

She is poor and alone. With the refrigerator constantly empty and her relationship with her children deteriorating as fast as their homestead, Ella wastes no time to save her own skin by selling the land.

Siblings Emma, played by graduate Melody Rahbari and Wesley, played by senior theater major Sam Guzik, are constantly swaying between killing each other and working together to save their home.

The hilarious interaction between the two can be seen with Wesley peeing on Emma’s 4-H charts and Emma mocking Wesley’s every word.

The relationship of the two allows anyone with siblings to relate with quotes like “Why don’t you cooperate?” from Wesley, and “Because it is deadly, it leads to dying,” from Emma.

Weston, played by Theater graduate Kris Bicknell, is the drunken father who can never be found at home.

There are moments when Weston causes the audience to laugh to the point of crying and others that cause the audience to weep with him when he speaks about his love for the land.

The land does not only represent the family but also the rest of California and the freedom to roam wherever the wind takes you.

The city is closing in and the beauty of the land is being pushed aside for the construction of establishments that will never hold the essence of the raw land.

Sadly most of our generation does not even know what our country has looked like before the invention of super malls and housing tracks.

This poor family in “Curse of the Starving Class” is trying to hold on to their house not because it was where they lived, but because of what it stood for. It is more than loosing a house. It is about loosing an entire country’s character.

“Curse of the Starving Class” is a dark satire that will keep you on the edge of your seats waiting for the bizarre family’s outcome.

Even though the refrigerator had enough food in it to feed the family, it was not enough to feed their hunger of the widely sought after American Dream.

One can only wonder what will we be resorting too if this economic depravity ceases to lift.

Samantha Sincock can be reached at samantha.sincock@laverne.edu.

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