By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City – It’s unsettling, disturbing right from the start. Ninety-minute Office Hour by playwright Julia Cho (Durango, The Language Archive) mirrors the danger of youthful anger and isolation that explodes in violence at school. America is forewarned of its gun violence, broken families, hateful communities, and supremacist mindset as recipe for brutality. Listen to the youth.
At The Public Theater until December 3, 2017, this psycho-drama is about a teacher trying to delve into the eerie, odd behavior of a student, and this show is definitely be one of the most powerful, timely and telling of our times.
Directed by Neel Keller (The Nether, Forever) the suspense drama actually sent me at the edge of my chair, for the anticipated tragedy was frightful and deep inside me, true to human nature, I hoped it would end happily. That the youth would save himself and find hope from his teacher’s insights.
Teacher Gina is warned by her co-teachers that one of her students, Dennis, would be a problem. Challenged by this, she invites Dennis during office hour to talk so she could probe into his mind. This is when the unexpected happens.
Greg Keller, Sue Jean Kim, Kee Hong Li, and Adeola Role were a class act, on a show that swung from hope to tragedy and back. The scene transitions of absolute darkness, a gun shot, and the staccato of gunshots terrified us enough. There has to be a re-run.