‘The Shape of Things’ offers provocative look at relationships



Lourdes Vetrano

Man and woman. Love and indifference. Art and subjectivity. Sex and betrayal. These are some of the main themes running throughout Neil LaBute’s “The Shape of Things.” Is all art truly subjective? Is it worth changing oneself just for the sake of love? 

The play revolves around Adam and Evelyn, two students at the fictitious Mercy College in California, who meet and form a relationship “unlike any other you would ever see,” says junior Mike Twomey, who plays Adam in Villanova Student Theatre’s current production of the play. 

Evelyn is a confident, seductive art student looking to get her MFA, and Adam is an awkward, nerdy guy looking for love. 

Together, they share a love that grows more tumultuous throughout the show. Senior Siobhan D’Angelo, the president of Villanova Student Theatre, plays Evelyn. 

 “The gender roles are reversed,” D’Angelo says. “Evelyn wears the pants. She is a very dominating girlfriend, and Adam is just a big baby.” 

Adam and Evelyn’s relationship also reveals a lot about body image and self-change.”Evelyn suggests to Adam to change small, cosmetic things about himself, which he does fairly easily,” D’Angelo says. 

“As he begins to change, he becomes better looking and more confident in himself, but begins to do morally questionable things.” 

The main question is whether or not any type of change is really important in a relationship and if they have a positive or negative impact, even on friendships. 

“Philip sees himself as having the power in whatever relationship he has,” says sophomore Yinan Shentu, who plays Adam’s best friend, Philip. “Adam’s always been the dork. Once Evelyn starts changing Adam, [Philip’s] not used to it. It breaks him out of his comfort zone. Some things happen with the two relationships that provide for some quality entertainment.” 

Philip controls the relationship between him and his fiancée, Jenny, played by freshman Emily Coombs. 

Everyone’s relationships with one another soon becomes tested throughout the show until its final twist, which reveals what happens when change takes its toll on love and friendship. 

The main message of the play is to “just be yourself,” according to D’Angelo.

“Don’t care what anyone else thinks,” she says. “Whatever you feel about something is fine — it’s only indifference that is intolerable. Don’t be apathetic. If you see something you don’t like, change it. Speak up.” 

A reason why students should go watch? 

“A show of this caliber is very close, personal and modern,” Shentu says. “All of the subject matter is so modern and taboo that it reaches out to the audience. It’s more relatable.”

“The Shape of Things” is directed by Jason Summers and assistant director Elizabeth Marafino. 

It is a 90-minute show with no intermission and will be playing March 23, 24, 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. and March 27 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. in St. Mary’s auditorium. Tickets are $10.