One’s Perception, Another’s Reality


From left, Austin Hebert (Klasky) and Bechir Sylvain (Bugs) share an apartment in Health & Safety, Play #1 of The Perception Plays.

Ahhh, the perennial fine line between art and life. The line gets even finer as we go through life, and all its inherent madness. In the Perception Plays, two one acts by Chad Baker, we come to realize the importance of ‘to thine own self be true,’ and how truth is so often relative.

The first one act, “Health & Safety,” reflects on society’s treatment of people living on the edge, trying to mainstream back into normal life. Martin ‘Bugs’ (Bechir Sylvain) is a schizophrenic, who is visited by his social worker, to evaluate his new living environment. Fragile as the model ship he passionately constructs, Martin is a delicate soul, drawing many parallels to the female protagonist in The Glass Menagerie.

In a whirlwind of intense, heated debate, social worker Melanie (Susan Papa) & Martin’s roommate and confidante Klasky (Austin Hebert) exchange their perceptions (distorted or real) and suggest how close sanity and insanity truly are.

In the second piece, “Dedication Page,” the plot thickens with the untimely death of celebrated author, William Webster, and his unfinished manuscript. The two main characters, wife, Madeline (Stephanie Geyer) and lifelong friend Laura (Susan Baker), must decide the fate of the book, so similar to the real life saga involved with best selling novelist Stieg Larssen, and also a sub-plot of Woody Allen’s most recent film, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.

The women’s perceptions on the late writer’s life and love affairs (both literal and figurative) are what they wish to believe is real. As Shakespeare profoundly wrote, “The truth will out.”

Perception Plays will be featured at the Sidewalk Studio Theatre, 4150 Riverside Drive, at 8 p.m. on
Thursdays and Fridays in October. For more information, visit
or call (740) 954-0167.

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