This weekend, thanks to the Brigantine Lighthouse Players, the region will have an opportunity to get a glimpse inside the minds of a couple of recent grads when “Post-Grad, An Existential Crisis Set to Music” debuts 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, with a second performence Saturday, Sept. 7, at 1501 W. Brigantine Ave. in Brigantine. Tickets are $5 at the door.
The offering is described as a staged reading of a new work composed of scenes, songs and monologues about navigating life after college and the trials and tribulations faced in one’s twenties. We caught up with the creators of the performance, Julian Bliss and Brady Bock. Here are some highlights of the conversation:
Arts & Leisure: What drew you to the theater and writing?
Bliss & Bock: We met doing a Jr. production of Beauty and the Beast here in Brigantine, and we've been inseparable ever since. We've always had a love for theatre and the performing arts, but we both studied different aspects of theatre separately [Julian] studied playwriting at Fairleigh Dickinson University, while [Brady] studied Music Production at Ramapo College. We didn't start collaborating artistically until later in college, and this is the first fully realized product of that collaboration. We've been friends for so long, the partnership seemed inevitable.
A&L: How long have you been involved in theater, acting, writing, composing etc?
B&B: We've both been doing theater for over ten years now, mainly on the acting side. (Julian) always knew (he) wanted to be a writer, but didn't settle on theater until senior year of high school. (Brady) realized sophomore year of college that he wanted to test the waters as a composer and never looked back.
A&L: They say write what you know. What percentage of the scenes, songs and monologues are real life experiences versus those that are more written for entertainment?
B&B: While these characters and their journeys are not strictly based on ourselves or anyone we've known personally, the play deals with themes and concepts we have both experienced: living with our parents as adults, navigating relationships in a post-collegiate world, the struggle between following your dreams vs. making a comfortable living. ... These are all things both of us have been dealing with in spades recently.
A&L: The word “crisis” is something that definitely brings more attention to any situation and there is no doubt many post-grads are feeling like they are in crisis. Do you feel the work you have created will reach and help a multi-generational audience understand what young people are experiencing ... in an entertaining way, of course?
B&B: The show definitely caters to a specific demographic — anyone who has experienced being in their twenties and not knowing where their life is going. We think this is a multi-generational struggle, and while it may ring true more with the current generation, we hope the subject matter will be able to bridge the generational gap.
A&L: Do you think since you lived, are living the reality of this “Post-Grad” life as so many young people are experiencing today, others will appreciate the authenticity of your work?
B&B: We hope so! We think this show has a lot of truth in it, and the writing process has been therapeutic (albeit stressful) for us. Our hope is that this show will resonate with our audience, as it certainly resonates with us.
For more information on this and other shows by the Brigantine Lighthouse Players see lighthouseplayers.com.