XOXOLOLA by Rachel Greene

"Everyone has their secrets, including Lauren - a bookish English major by day, fat fetish camgirl by night. These worlds collide as romance sparks between Lauren and fellow classics-lover Simon, who meet studying Titus Andronicus in their Shakespeare class. The two dive into the play and discover the deep, world-altering nature of pain and trauma – even the fictional kind." - Greene

All photos taken by Juan Gamero

"[...] XOXOLOLA is about how, at times, men see women as little more than sex objects to be toyed with and even denigrated. The piece also criticizes the sex industry. In addition, this layered piece reminds us about the power of literature. Specifically, we can grow so attached to a relatable fictional character that he or she may come alive to us in mysterious and vivid ways. Further, XOXOLOLA reminds us how art can imitate life and vice versa. Doubtless, live theater, and especially Shakespeare aficionados will treasure the piece. Indeed, the characters enthusiastically discuss Shakespeare, and the playwright briefly touches on the benefits of live theater. And no, you do not have to be a theater lover or scholar of the Bard of Avon to find meaning in the play. Certainly, Greene represents a fresh, bold voice in theater, unapologetically sticking up for those society may have cast aside. [...] While this production honored the play's supernatural element, the mounting also emphasized the play's poignancy under Tallman's sensitive direction. Performance wise, Noellle Nicholas credibly conveyed Lauren's shyness, insecurity, vulnerability, and eagerness in the classroom. As Lola, Nicholas could have acted unabashedly seductive; one got the feeling that she was holding something back as the camgirl. After all, one of the points of the play is to show that, as different as they are, Lauren and Lola can, in fact, be the same person. While Samuel Krogh nailed Simon's laid-back, charming aura, he seamlessly transitioned into a shocked and angry young man. As a pair, Nicholas and Krogh demonstrated strong chemistry. One could sense tension and tentativeness when their characters felt uncomfortable around each other. In addition, intense passion was palpable during intimate scenes. Kudos must also go out to intimacy director Nicole Perry. She helped the performers create believable intimacy while keeping the actors safe.- Aaron Krause, Theatrical Musings