Provocative production, 'The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia,' wraps theater department's fall season

To conclude its fall season, the Indiana University Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance presents "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" The provocative play was written in 2000 by Edward Albee, one of the most prominent American playwrights of our time who is known for his exploratory and compelling plays.

A scene from the production of "The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?"View print quality image
Student actors perform in the IU Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance production of "The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?"

This production of the Tony Award-winning play is arguably the most controversial theatrical performance presented at IU Bloomington. The story revolves around a normal family and their reaction to a series of shocking truths. The production runs through Dec. 8 at the Wells-Metz Theatre.

"The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" deals with taboo subjects that are rarely discussed or confronted in a public setting. The dialogue is dynamic and realistic; it is set up to mimic a real-life conversation, making the audience feel like they are part of the actual story.

According to the director, associate professor Murray McGibbon, this performance will urge the audience to look at their prejudices and points of view to consider what it is to be human and gain a better understanding of the human condition. Some of the themes explored in the production include love, loss, redemption and forgiveness.

"Some people might get up and walk out, and some people might be very offended," McGibbon said. "But in a funny way, that is good theater, because it makes you think."

The play is presented in such a way that the audience will not watch passively but rather will become active participants.

"We zip through our lives without taking time to pause, sit and stare," McGibbon said. "I think this play is a reality check for people. 'What do I think about this situation?' I want to electrify the audiences with a performance so powerful that they can't not be engaged."

"The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?" is for mature audiences only. Tickets can be purchased through the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance website.