Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind: a tradition continues in the theatre department

A play containing many surprises and free pizza allowed for a weekend fulfilled by laughs and excitement as the University of Indianapolis theatre department hosted their second-annual showing of the play, “Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.”

The show began as a tradition last fall after the theatre department  presented it at the  Indianapolis Fringe Festival.  Last year, UIndy was recognized for selling the most tickets at their venue according to junior theatre major Clayton Rardon. This festival has a large impact on the theatre department overall, because of the opportunities that actors and designers have, Rardon said. This event allows for the department to create a bigger name for themselves, despite being a small group, Rardon said.

“Being able to perform in that venue really opens up other people’s eyes to see that we even have a theatre program because our theatre program is really small,” Rardon said.

Photo by Tony Reeves At the end of a play where things go terribly wrong for the cast, junior theatre major Clayton Rardon and senior theatre major Destiny Huegel do spit takes at one another. Rardon was also spit on by junior theatre major Sunni Tekle where she claims he poisoned her.

The play has much to love, according to junior theater major Sunni Tekle. It allows for more audience interaction than the usual play and is looked at as very sporadic and lighthearted.

“The show isn’t your average or your typical,” Tekle said. “It’s hard to hate, at least for someone like me…just having that ability to interact with the audience because typically you don’t have that  ability whenever you’re an actor on the stage.”

Unlike other plays, this show consisted of a variety short plays gathered into one while the actors attempted to complete all of the plays in 48 minutes or less. The play includes different themes from funny to crude, and semi-serious, according to Rardon.

In the audience was sophomore exercise science major Michael Clay, who said the show contained a different variety of plays making the show almost entirely different from last year.

“I think this year was definitely better,” Clay said. “Whenever I got here, I thought it would be the same play as last year and every single one was different, so that was really cool too.”

Along with the plays within the show being different, the ideas displayed in the show differed from last year as well. This year,  some plays took on less of a comedic approach and more of a serious, politically driven approach, senior theatre major Emily Hart said.

In a play titled ‘These Things Are True’ cast members and junior theatre majors Clayton Rardon and Sunni Tekle read off lines about each other that happened to them in the past, and of the other members. All of the statements were true, they just didn’t read their own stories.
Photo by Tony Reeves

The play ran from Thursday, Sept. 12 to Saturday, Sept. 14 and each night was unique. The audience tends to guide the play in its own direction, which Hart said makes for a better time overall.

“This is a really fun play to do because I think it’s a bit off the beaten path than shows that we typically do here at UIndy,” Hart said. “It’s a fun piece to do because it’s different everyday… There’s a lot of unexpected things that happen, so it’s really fun for the actors and seeing them enjoy that process.”

The show was looked at as exciting for audience members, but it was also fun for the cast Rardon said. The cast tended to go off script and have more flexibility.

“This is one play that I really couldn’t find anything that I disliked about it,” Rardon said. “I really enjoyed the concept of it and everything about it, it’s just so lighthearted and funny. Even the rehearsal for it was very lighthearted and laidback.”