How could a woman who entered college in the 1960s and appeared in Animal House – the definitive depiction of college life in that decade – NOT understand what the 1960’s looked like??? I know director Karen Allen (1951- ) didn’t design the set (John Traub), costumes (George Veale) hair, and make-up for this misbegotten production of Moonchildren on the Unicorn Stage at the BTF, but she’s the director, for crying out loud, the creative team answers to her. And this is not the Podunk Amateur Community Theatre, it’s the Berkshire Theatre Festival – an Equity house with a long and illustrious history and sufficient funds to shell out for some vintage clothing, or replicas thereof.
In 1968 Allen began her studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology, from which she received an honorary Master’s degree, and runs her own fiber arts company here in the Berkshires. And she can’t tell that the costumes for this production are all wrong??? Gimme a break!
Moonchildren is a very early work by playwright Michael Weller (1942- ). Written in 1970, it was a big hit in London and Washington, DC, before moving to Broadway for a short run in 1972 with a stellar cast. It launched a wonderful career for Weller, who is now sharing his talents with a new generation of theatre artists through an innovative and award-winning mentor program. But the fact remains that this is an early effort of a young playwright, obviously writing about his own college experiences at Brandeis University.