Uncommon Women and Others
Seminole State College
By Wendy Wasserstein
Directed by Paul Luby
Lake Mary, FL
What’s an ambitious woman to do professionally in the feminist heydays of 1975? Options look good, but practically the limits aren’t much different than they ever were: marriage, semi-menial jobs, exotic travel on the family fortune, and maybe an illicit romance for a summer or two. While I have trouble hearing the microphone-free actors, I easily see this show as the anti “Animal House” without the crudity.
In both works, we see into the inner dynamics of elite college life but here it’s the girls who rule the roost. There’s money and freedom despite the lax college “rules,” alcohol and adventure abound, and all are overshadowed by the big question: “What do I do when I get out?” Marriage is an option, perhaps a minor role in a law firm or trading house, and academia are the safe bets. The more exotic option lead overseas; one young lady moves to Iran, converts to Islam, and who knows what befalls here next.
There’s a sense of mystery in these students; they know a big world lies outside but nothing here prepares them for the realities of workplace dynamics. Instead they read the unreadable philosophers like Camus and Nietzsche and Wittgenstein, then go watch birds. Periodically the college president appears; she’s played by the actual president of Seminole State. It’s a nice touch and I liked her in the role, but it did lead to a rather odd set of bows at the end. This script offers a historical look at a turning point in women’s roles, and it would have a bigger impact I we could focus on the text and not the act of listening.