Attending “Gem of the Ocean” by Jamie Luchini

When considering what art event to attend for one of my entrepreneurship elective classes, I narrowed it down to a play or a comedy show due to my interests. When I found out that “Gem of the Ocean” was showing on campus at Lehigh in the Zoellner Arts Center, it was a no brainer to attend. The only way I would have known that this play was this week was when a few of my friends mentioned that they already saw it and it was very entertaining. This was my first ever play at Lehigh University in all four years I have been here so I figured why not.

Overall, the turnout was more than I would have anticipated on a weekend night, where I would assume few students would be spending their time. While I had zero knowledge of the play beforehand, it quickly gained my interest when I heard where it was based: my hometown, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; not to mention the incredible acting as well. I was very curious to learn more about the characters as the play went on. Although I have not attended many plays in my lifetime, I thought some performances stood out for sure. I thought Black Mary was magnificent. She portrayed her role very well and had a very strong personality which I felt was necessary for her character. I also thought Aunt Ester was fabulous. From her old lady grandma walk was on point, and she also was very enthusiastic and seemed to be genuinely interested to be playing her part. Additionally, I realize that there is limited space and I am assuming limited funds as well, but the stage crew did a great job setting up the play for opening night. For what they had tools wise, they sure made the most of it! In terms of what all was involved when going to the play, it was a unique experience for me, as once again, I have not been to many plays in my lifetime.

When I walked in, I had to find the ticket booth for the first time and pay five dollars for one ticket. For some reason, I was expecting that plays performed by Lehigh University would be free to all students, but I guess they have to cover their costs somehow. That may be a way to increase audiences in the future though if all plays are free for Lehigh University students who present their student IDs. Because attending this play was a last-minute decision, I never looked up online what the dress code may be, so I figured anything would be acceptable. In order to make a whole night out of it, I decided to eat at one of my favorite restaurants around Lehigh, Sal’s Brick Oven Pizza. Great food and short walking distance were just two of the reasons I decided to eat there before the play started at 7:30 pm.

The play itself lasted approximately two hours, with an intermission break a little past midway of the play. Food and drinks were not allowed in the theater, but several options were available before, at intermission, and after the play. Popcorn, sodas, water, and a variety of candy selections were available to the audience for only a dollar each. Afterwards, play staff displayed a variety of cheeses, meats, cookies, and fruits for the general audience to snack on. Much appreciated. All in all, I am curious to not just find out more about this play and who the actors and actresses were, but to look into future plays at Zoellner Arts Center as well. I enjoyed this experience and what this assignment made me realize that a lot of people in the local Bethlehem and Lehigh art community are very talented and make it entertaining to attend these kind of events.