Hidden Insanity fights paranoia

By James Keller

If Edward Norton’s seemingly mediocre and ultimately schizophrenic life in Fight Club made you see things just a little differently, you’re not alone.

According to play director Sterling Lynch, everybody has these types of experiences where a movie or book can have a dramatic effect on how they view the world around them.

"The idea is that [Fight Club] is one of those classic films that have a profound effect on people," says Lynch. This effect serves as a starting point for Hidden Insanity’s newest production, Watching Fight Club Made Me Crazy.

The play, written by Jonathan Chapman, revolves around the life of Lola, who resembles Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club. After watching Fight Club with her roommate, she notices some startling similarities between her world and the film. As new people begin to unexpectedly show up in her life, these connections are only magnified–connections that will ultimately see her rob a bank.

Although these references are very prominent throughout the play, Lynch notes they are not central to its reception.

"There are elements of parody in the play, but primarily the movie
is sort of like a ghost character,"
says Lynch, adding that the audience doesn’t need to have seen Fight Club to understand and enjoy it. Aside from Fight Club parallels the play only addresses how Lola is changed, if at all, by her initial experience with the movie.

"Events can occur in our lives that can change us, but at the same time … we’re really not changed all that much," says Lynch, instead linking these changes to many different interactions. "All these characters come into the play and if they didn’t … they wouldn’t have ended up robbing the bank."

While the play uses scenarios to examine the phenomenon of change, Lynch still reminds us that in the end, it is still a comedy.

"It’s like a pop-comedy in the sense that … it’s simple, it’s fun and it’s enjoyable," says Lynch, alluding to the many pop-culture references throughout the play. "But at the same time it’s more than just a comedy. There’s stuff to it."

The stuff Lynch refers to is the examination of how events, more specifically a piece of pop-culture, can change how we look at the world for even just a moment. Whether that change is social awareness or a strange paranoia (as in Lola’s case) it may even be true for Lynch.

"Everyday of my life is one long stretch of paranoia," he laughs.

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