Under Pressure, which was staged by Riverfront Theatre Company at Olde Walkerville Theatre last weekend, might not have been a show for everyone. It actually should have been a show for everyone. The trio of one-act plays touched on subjects we don’t talk nearly enough about – subjects that affect young people every day – peer pressure, bullying, social anxiety and the stress of everyday life at school and home.
In the three plays, The Redemption of Gertie Greene, Box and Hoodie, various cast members acted through what seemed like about 100 different scenarios and issues. While the content could have easily sent off a trigger or sparked a memory, the overall presentation and flow of the three shows, gave the pressing issues just enough comedy and intimacy to make it interesting, but at the same time allow the social messaging to seep through.
Of the three plays, the two written by Lindsay Price (Box and Hoodie) were superior. Her ability to bring out the issues without shoving them down your throat is worthy of note. Her presentation of the issues is lively and informative and without the melancholy or sadness usually brought out in the recent slew of dramas that touch on the same subjects.
While opening night jitters were present on some occasions, with a little more routine and a few more shows, Under Pressure could be a sensational piece to tour through Windsor-Essex schools to help deal with the growing number of students that are affected by peer pressure, bullying, social anxiety and stress every day.
While there were a couple jittered nerves on the stage on Friday, that may have been due to the fact that playwright Price was actually in the audience and spoke with the kids after the show was over. It’s not often actors actually get to perform for the actual playwrights. Price was warm and welcoming and answered a few questions, while also giving the young actors a chance to chat about the content, their roles and hitting the stage with it for the first time.
As always, the young Riverfront Theatre Company cast was comfortable and well-rehearsed for the show. Their next presentation is A Christmas Peter Pan at the Windsor Downtown Mission on Dec. 8 and 9, 2018.