Talkback: A Modern Don Juanposted on May 3rd, 2012 by Jason Balinskas
To conclude the spring semester, the Montclair State BA Theatre Studies Class of 2012 performed a new show called PENANCE: The Ghost of Don Juan. The play was created in collaboration with the cast, which helped make it modern and relevant. PENANCE explored the Don Juan archetype: a man who seduces women. It featured a robot version of Don Juan who is programmed only to seduce women, which takes out any psychological reason for Don Juan to be womanizer. PENANCE had a strong theme of sexual attraction and sexual pleasure—even a theme of rape.
My favorite scene was a monologue in which a man talked about how we all follow the same script in relationships, and about the consequent lack of uniqueness. PENANCE was a mixture of drama and comedy, as well as movement transitions that filled up every second between scenes. I liked this performance because of its relevance to modern relationship issues. The ending of PENANCE was very interesting: each member of the cast made physical contact with a member of the audience, creating a direct connection that was very awkward for some in the audience. I left the show thinking about how sex and physical attraction play an important role in my life.
Jason Balinskas is an undergraduate student at Montclair State, majoring in Communications Studies with a concentration in Public Relations.