By Bendik Sorensen
Assistant Arts and Entertainment Editor
Masculinity, feminism, and identity are all issues faced by all people, both young and old, in society. “Daddy’s Boy,” written and directed by graduate student, Cristian Avila, emphasizes these issues.
“It’s about a boy named Milo; [he’s] a 17-year-old wrestler, but he’s also gay. It’s not necessarily two things that go together,” Avila said. “Daddy’s Boy” is a part of Avila’s graduate thesis, and it will run from March 20-22 at the Rifle Range Theater on LIU Post’s campus.
“Daddy’s Boy” is Avila’s first major production as a playwright. The UC Berkeley undergraduate is combining both ancient Greek methodology as well as modern ploys, such as Twitter, to tell a story of mental and psychological battle, as well as a physical battle.
Milo, a wrestler son of two gay men, faces challenges throughout the piece. While writing it, Avila was inspired by viral videos, and how comments came through Twitter and other social media outlets, both good and bad. Mostly bad, he said. “A theme that I’ve traced back from ancient Greek plays is a man’s responsibility to provide,” Avila said. “It’s a lot about gender constructs.”
“In the play, we have a Greek chorus (a gathering of performers) reading from their phones, as if [they were reading] tweets against Milo after he wore a pink singlet to a televised wrestl[ing] match,” Avila said. “It’s a very heavy story.” Avila started writing the play last summer and started rehearsing only a few weeks ago. The cast of ten actors consists of undergraduate and graduate students from LIU Post’s Theatre Company.
The play itself, he says, is constantly commenting on society.
“[Daddy’s Boy] comments on the U.S.’ struggle with the conformity of gender performance as a male, and what it means to break the mold of gender performance as a male,” said Paige Borden, a first year graduate student, assistant director, and chorus member. “It’s always a way a man should act. He should watch football, etc. In the play, Milo is struggling to come out with his own identity,” Avila said. “He’s been sheltered a lot in his life, but now, he faces comments and criticism as his family’s history repeats itself.”
Avila is aiming to pitch the play to festivals around the country, and says he’s gotten promising feedback from the Sundance Festival, with a play that he calls contemporary and recent. It touches upon issues that are very much in the spotlight today, he said.
“Daddy’s Boy” will be performed on March 20 – 21 at 7:30 p.m., and March 22 at 3 p.m. Prices for “Daddy’s Boy” are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. For more information, visit www.liu.edu/post/ ptc or call 516-299-2353.