Vibrations is deceptively simple. Billed as a story about platonic love, it initially comes across as an ode to the kind of friendships that feel instrumental to who we are. It evolves, however, into a complex discussion of what we owe to those we love. The story takes this turn when the character Eli shares the nudes of her best friend Sam and his boyfriend. We see this action not as unforgivable, but as a consequence of her intense feelings of rejection, of losing her best friend, and of being left alone to deal with her alcoholic mother. It’s difficult to decide whether the two central characters–
I don’t know how I feel about the ethics and morality of this piece. How and why do we perceive the crime of sharing nudes when it’s done by a teenage girl, and we understand her motives? How are we supposed to feel about it? In a plot summary, Eli would sound like a villain, but she doesn’t come across that way. Which of them is in control of the narrative? I am fascinated by the moral ambiguity of the piece, but unsure whether I should be.
–feel fleshed-out or archetypal: at the start of the piece, their friendship is littered with lovable details like their shared love of Tangfastics. When the plot clouds over, though, their individuality merges with the play’s desire to cover alcoholism, body image, and the potential consequences of nudes, while doing every issue justice: sometimes it feels like these two intentions are in conflict. The show is at its strongest when the script and acting are given a chance to shine through, such as when Eli delivers lines like “the moon only smiles like that for us” and “I’m scared no one will ever want to break me”.