Mind-Set - Tyler Lindquist

Reviewed By Chris McCoy

“Mind-Set” by Tyler Lindquist is a collection of monologues from mostly recognizable titles and reflections on college life and lessons learned through his participation in theatre.  Originally written as an undergraduate senior performance project, the work is organized by goals he set for himself each year that cleverly parallel the curriculum of a college acting course. The subtitle of the work could be, “All I Really Need to Know About Life I Learned in College Acting Class” and his insights prove to be just as universal and profound.  While the text contains a few expected clichés of self-discovery, introspection, and reverence for the wide world of theatre (á la Emily Webb’s monologue in Our Town), what wasn’t expected was the unselfconscious abandon and uncynical worldview in Lindquist’s performance that may be just what the script doctor (in spite of himself) ordered.

Lindquist commands the small stage at Whim performance space with simple costume changes, nominal props, and barely any set.  But this minimalism is by design to keep focus on the fundamental elements of theatre: actor, text, space, and audience.  As he progresses through each monologue, we see him adapt his performance to reflect the pedagogical goals he achieves, not through broad slapstick, but a subtly nuanced deepening of an actor who understands himself better through the words of classic plays.  When he arrives at the most demanding monologues toward the end of his performance (Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Romeo and Juliet, I Hate Hamlet), Lindquist displays an actor who is confident in himself and his acting and relishes the opportunity to share these connections with an audience.  Personally, I might have wanted fewer classic monologues and more of his perspective as a college student during the age of COVID.  Overall, I found the performance to be a well-rehearsed, knowledgeable, and interesting study of one young actor’s journey of self-discovery through theatre.

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