Story by Reporter Meridian Pearson
Photos courtesy of AQ Theatre Department
After last year’s successful season, AQ Theatre is back for the 2021-2022 school year with the remarkable Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. I interviewed director and theatre professor Scott Harman to learn more about this unique, fast-paced play.
Q: Can you give a brief description of Too Much Light… for our readers?
A: Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind is a Neofuturist Chicago classic. After its nearly 30 year run, you can still find it in different forms and cities today! In this show, actors try to perform 30 plays in just 60 minutes while a clock counts down onstage. To keep the actors on their toes, the audience chooses the order of the plays. Due to the coarse language, your parents may not enjoy it—but then again, maybe they will!
Q: This seems difficult to pull off, given the time sensitivity. What drew you to the show, and how does the time constraint affect your directing approach?
A: I’m a big fan of the Neofuturist perspective. They believe theatre should be about honest expression unadorned by illusion, scenery, or anything that might cloud that union between actor, audience, and idea. The ticking clock is an extension of that. There’s no time for extra artifice or forced emotion—you’ve got to just get on with the plays! AQ Theatre is focusing on shows that raise issues and contend with ideas, so this is a fun way to further our mission.
Q: Why is this show important to see right now?
A: It’s the perfect way to return to in-person theatre. Too Much Light… is theatre in its purest form; we speak right to the audience, and they decide how the show will go. The plays are thematically all over the place – funny, irreverent, even political – but they all come down to people talking about what matters to them.
When asked to describe the show in one word, Scott replied: “human.” And in terms of safety precautions, all cast members are fully vaccinated, and will be socially distanced onstage. When they interact with the audience, they will be masked. Come support our theatre department as they power through these uncertain times to bring us incredible shows without fail! Catch Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind at the AQ Performing Arts Center at 7:30pm on October 7-9 and 2:30pm on October 10. It’s sure to be an hour you won’t soon forget!
Parts of this interview were paraphrased for clarity and length.