“God Is a Verb” takes science by storm

by Laura Casado

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via Hook and Eye Theater

“Do you ever feel like you’re living inside someone’s head?”

The first half hour of November’s showing of “God is A Verb,” presented by Hook & Eye Theatre in Brooklyn, had me wholeheartedly agreeing with the opening line and feeling that, yes, I was stuck deep inside someone’s head. Specifically, the head of a mad genius scientist. Think Einstein morphed with Lewis Carroll.

The new play, written Gavin Brody and inspired by the work of R. Buckminster Fuller, follows a group of graduate students in the 1960s who are working on an epic project, directed by a mysterious “Professor” who contacts them by a telephone. At the onset of the play, newcomer Ida, who has just been offered a fellowship, is introduced to the team of scientists and thrown bewildered into their erratic methods of experimentation. She learns that their goal is to devise a plan to establish forever “terrestrial longevity” on earth. That is, figure out how the world must function and people must coexist to avoid eventual demolition. The teams stresses, however, that they do not want to save the world, but rather, show the world how to save itself. They conduct experiments as a sort of board game, with various pieces being moved around on a table that is a map of earth. Its an interactive simulation, where they highlight problems, such as world hunger, brainstorm inventions and propose solutions.

This play, although initially confusing due to its dense use of scientific terminology, is impressive in several ways. Firstly, the energy and dedication of actors, who not only have distinct roles but each alternately embody “the Professor” by donning a pair of glasses is tremendously clever. Secondly, the incredible set and lighting design, which included a large cage-like structure that the actors deftly erect and maneuver in various positions served as a fantastical setting for this mad play. Lastly, manner with which the play attempts, very successfully, to question views on human existence and the end of the world is absolutely refreshing. What most people consider inevitable, the Professor’s team is, admirably, determined to overcome.

God Is A Verb closed on November 21.

Laura Casado is a Contributing Writer. Email her at theater@nyunews.com

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