Start Down

Start Down
Start Down
Alliance Theatre
through March 6, 2016

Eleanor Burgess’ prize winning work, is a REAL winner, in many ways. The play is on the Hertz Stage, and when you first grab your seat (it is open seating) you look at this very bare stage and think they must have saved a bundle by having nothing there.

WRONG. Caite Hevner Kemp has designed quite a set, which glides easily through quite a number of different scenes with backgrounds and props that work just great. She also designed some really cool projected images relating to the work that these nerds were doing.

You know the term Start-up. Somebody gets an idea, sketches out a plan, finds some seed money, gets it going, gets more money, gets it really going and winds up selling out for an amount that looks like a lottery winning. One problem. They don’t all work that well, hence more of them wind up as Start-downs and poop out. I know that one. Done that. Been there.

Jeremy Cohen came in from Minneapolis for some nicer weather and to draw this one together to his high standards. Will (Eric Sharp) is a programmer and his fiancé, Sandy (Annie Purcell) is a teacher. She has a job, while Will has only hopes. Sandy works at the same school as Karen (Tracey Bonner) who also lives with a s.o. named Adam (Josh Tobin) who is in the investment industry.

One thing leads to another, and a light bulb goes on over Will’s head. He’s going to develop a program that will enable students, of varying abilities, to take their quizzes and tests online; and the program will even assign grades to those who do so. It isn’t a big hit at the start-off with the teachers, albeit they have their own complaints about jerky bosses and annoying students as well as ever-growing work loads.

The cast is rounded out with Anthony Campbell as a disaffected student and Andrew Puckett as a business associate. It is set in the Bay Area, so we know what happens in Silicone Valley. After all, when all is said and done, what is our economy all about? MONEY. And, just because you are young, brilliant, and somewhat difficult at times doesn’t mean you can’t be a success. But, then nothing is ever guaranteed. Except that I can guarantee that you will thoroughly enjoy this one.

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