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A CurtainUp Review
This Is My Office
The NYC production of This Is My Office takes place in an empty storefront. We take a seat in a conference-like chair, equipped with headphones and receiver and face a wall and overhead projector — no stage, or even stage-like area.
We are welcomed by Andy (same name as the writer, Andy Bragen). He welcomes us to his office floor, and explains that as a playwright, he is here in the Wall Street area with an office thanks to a grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (as the production takes place in midtown, we now understand not to take things literally).
Andy rambles and gets bogged down in details, and excited by tangents. We learn of his daily commute, his plans for a thriller screenplay, and his methods of procrastination. Eventually, with a request to put on headphones, we are invited to see his actual office. He is overtaken by recounting the coincidental discovery of an old polaroid photo behind his office's radiator. A journey into his childhood past begins, but the story grows and changes from there. Andy brings us on his journey through his memories, mostly about him and his father — sometimes fuzzy, sometimes clear.
Andy, played with subtlety by David Barlow, is an affable, unassuming underdog. He is comfortable guiding us around and keeping things casual. But there is a sense of something deeper also going on inside him, a struggle of sorts. Director Davis McCallum's work here is commendable. His touch is light, but specific.
Our time with Andy in his office is about the non-spectacular, average struggles that life brings to us all. It's also about the average, non-spectacular ways in which Andy deals with his realities. But the honesty and intimacy with which we go on this journey with Andy is what makes This Is My Office truly special, and far from average.