Adam Bryan, writer, performer, and director of Homeschool Dropout, is a quirky and likeable guy. He's clearly convinced of the power of the arts to make a difference in people's lives; he plans to donate $250 of the proceeds for this show to a scholarship in theatre education. But while this is an admirable goal, had he first channelled some of this philanthropic energy into polishing his show, he would be a much better ambassador for his cause.
In his show, Bryan describes his return to public high school after an allergy forced him into several years of homeschooling. His recounting of that culture shock results in some of the show's best moments, such as a sweetly naive misunderstanding of what the bullies at school were really calling him.
Bryan includes no real insight into or information about homeschooling, focusing instead on his struggle through high school and college to find a place where he could excel and simply be himself.
Bryan's performance is most effective when he drops all pretense and simply tells his story. Removing all his stilted blocking and the unnecessary set would have been a step in the right direction, as would actually entering and using the performance space the audience surrounds.
The show is in desperate need of some dramaturgical work as well; the disjointed episodes are told in chronological order, but some editing and a stronger narrative thread tying them together would help.
Personality is not enough to make Homeschool Dropout a success. With a thoughtfully reworked script and pared-down staging, however, Bryan might have the seeds of a simple and effective storytelling experience.
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