‘The Cancellation of Lauren Fein’: A Thought-Provoking Dive into Identity and Outrage

Photo by By Tim Stepien.

Lauren Fein is the epitome of DEI – female, lesbian, Jewish, a Hispanic wife, foster mother of a black son. But even all those checkboxes aren’t able to save her from being canceled in the world premiere of “The Cancellation of Lauren Fein”.

The drama follows Fein, her wife Paola Moreno, and their foster son Dylan. Fein and Moreno are professors at a prestigious American university. Fein, as the title suggests, get herself into hot water after going off script in class. Her teachings are labeled racist by students. Instead of humbling herself and trying to clean it up, she continues to fumble the situation.

“We’ve all read the stories in recent years: a celebrity or professor or politician is called out and brought down for words or deeds considered offensive. Cancel culture,” the announcement reads. “Some view it as a method of holding people to account, of righting a wrong. Others believe it’s suppression of free speech, a public shaming.”

The play is a thought-provoking tale of political correctness run amok. Fein’s behavior is often cringe worthy, and her haughty demeanor doesn’t win her any friends or sympathizers. But even so, should a poorly worded analogy in a biology class cost her everything?

The show is particularly relevant in today’s world of cancel culture, but also Florida’s war on diversity, equity, and inclusion. DEI initiatives were banned in public colleges in Florida last year.

In many examples of “cancellation” in today’s society, there is no nuance. And this is where “The Cancellation of Lauren Fein” shines – it gives the full context of what actually happened. The evocative performances also showcase the devastating impact of what these kinds of accusations can do to a family. Fein, played by Niki Fridh, particularly gives a standout performance.

There are enough twists and turns to keep the audience engaged as the story unfolds with surprising betrayals, while paranoia eats the family alive.

The show's playwright, Christopher Demos-Brown, wanted to pay homage to Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible.” 
“Early in the process of writing the play, I knew I wanted to incorporate the idea of what happens when a community turns against you, as Miller did in The Crucible,” Demos-Brown says in the announcement “It’s a very similar dynamic; there’s this new code being imposed on people, and how do they react to it?”

The drama is currently playing at Palm Beach Dramaworks in West Palm Beach through Feb. 25. The show has already proved to be popular, with performances added to the initial run.

Visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org for tickets.


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