Not every young actor can successful star in and write an intense dramatic production, but Vic Bagratuni pulled off both roles as part of The Emerging Playwright Unit December 2015 at The Lee Strasberg Theater in New York. Starring as Gino, Bagratuni turned in a raw and vital performance in a solid drama directed by Allen B. Ford, The Strasberg Legacy.
The play takes viewers on a trip to Torre di Largo, Italy, with Gino (Bagratuni) and his family. Concerned by the nationalism he perceives in his travels, father Vito is appalled by the performance of a hypnotist named Luparello, who uses his mental powers to control his audience. Representing the control authoritarian leaders in Europe had over their followers, Luparello misuses his power, in an attempt to overcome his own strident inferiority. When Gino falls under Luparello’s sway, Vito is driven to violence. In the end, a native of the region kills the hypnotist, in a cathartic act that not only liberates Gino and his family, but also frees the audience from its role as followers of Luparello.
An interesting concept that draws viewers into a metaphor for a political scenario all too relevant in our own current primary election landscape, it’s Bagratuni’s intense performance that elevates the production into something mesmerizing.