The first play to come to UAA this fall semester is Neil LaBute’s “Fat Pig,” directed by student Christina Ashby. If there is one thing that needs to be said about this play, it is that it’s a show absolutely worth attending.
Put on by the UAA theatre club, Theatre on the Rocks, the play is student run with the cast and crew all enrolled in UAA classes. Theatre on the Rocks certainly did not disappoint, bringing a play that was both funny and tragic to the scene.
“Fat Pig” covers one of the more controversial topics out there in the world, presenting it fresh for the unwilling eye to see.
“I think it deals with a topic that no one wants to talk about,” said Director and Theatre on the Rocks President Ashby. “We understand there’s a problem with the way society views how women are beautiful but we never do anything about it. and I think this play just throws it back in our faces.”
Actress Jessica Pervier plays the role of Helen, an overweight woman who meets and falls for corporate employee Tom, played by Jaron Carlson. Throughout their relationship Tom battles with a sour ex, played by Kate Williams, and his not-so-kind friend Carter, played by Eric Holzschuh.
The play is filled with lines that have you laughing at one moment, and then feeling slightly disturbed a second later, realizing what was so really wrong with the joke. One of the best examples of this is Helen’s frequent dropping of fat jokes throughout the play aimed at herself.
Beyond the jokes, there are intense, dark scenes where the actors fill their roles with life, giving them as much passion as any other person would show, giving the play an almost real-life quality to it.
But there are also the tender scenes that make you feel warm inside, such as the fumbling first kiss between the two main characters quickly followed by a large gulp from each of their respective drinks.
Even though the play was beautiful, and definitely worth buying a ticket to, it did not scream of godly perfection, which is to be expected in all honesty. There were short moments scattered within the play when a character’s portrayal would rub the audience the wrong way, but beyond that and the very rare fumbling over words, the play is a gem.
“What drew me to ‘Fat Pig’ was its cruelty and its honesty about the flaws of human nature,” says Ashby in her Director’s note. “It questions our dogmatic belief of what beauty should be. We strive for weight loss and fitness not because it’s healthy, but because of the images we continually receive from a very young age.”
“Fat Pig” sends a raw, true message that people as a society have been sweeping under the rug for quite some time. It acts as an eye opener, and a start towards the correction of a societal flaw. With the play running Aug. 29, 30, and 31, it is highly worth it to stop by the Fine Arts building before eight and grabbing a seat. It offers food for thought for all.