The Year I Was Gifted
An uninvolving year at theatre school
This article is from 2013.
Writer and performer Monica Bauer chronicles her single year spent at a performing arts school. Her journey to the school is fraught, involving lies about her musical abilities, desperate applications for money to cover the fees, and the final loan of bus fare from a friend’s father. Once at the school, Bauer decides to protest the headmistress’s expulsion of gay students; although not expelled for this, Bauer has to drop out due to lack of funds.
Occasionally, Bauer makes reference to other parts of the narrative that could be far more interesting – for example, she mentions that her parents lied to her all her life about how she came to be adopted, but never explains why. What a shame that this narrative avenue was not explored instead.
Additionally, although it’s meant as a token of support, the reference to LGBT people being ‘brave’ feels a little patronising. The main problem is that the audience is not emotionally involved in Bauer’s journey, and it’s difficult to empathise with her desperation to escape her home.
Sweet Grassmarket, 243 3596, until 25 Aug, 2.50pm, £8