Superhero Psychodrama with Next Generation Next Weekend
Next weekend Next Generation Theatre Company opens Elliott Brotherhood’s Finding the Suit or The Forgotten Ideology of Courage. Written and directed by Brotherhood, the show is a psychodrama in which Gabe Smith plays a young boy who suffers from panic attacks. His internal struggles play out onstage as a conflict between two iconic comic book heroes. I love this idea. When I was into superheroes as a kid, I didn’t look up to them as role models--I saw them as amplified versions of internal struggles who were every bit as flawed as those struggles. This often gets forgotten in criticisms of the genre.
“This play is very costume-based,” Brotherhood says over a table of Dark Knight items in a promo video, “we use the costumes to tell the story.” Not exclusively costuming, though: the promo text refers to constant bickering between Bruce Wayne (as played by Brotherhood) and Joker (played by Avery Mitchell. Not familiar with the name. I’m really hoping this is an actress in the role. Would be nice to see radically different casting than we’ve found in traditional adaptations. It would help wash away the sour taste of Leto’s Hot Topic Joker from Suicide Squad.)
The show runs for one weekend only. Admission is free. There are three performances: Sep. 17 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sep. 18 at 4:00 p.m. All performances take place at Bayshore Lutheran on 1200 E Hampton Rd. For more information, visit Next Generation online.