Informing the Lincoln High community since 1895

The Advocate

Breaking News
Informing the Lincoln High community since 1895

The Advocate

Informing the Lincoln High community since 1895

The Advocate

Play Review: Local Play Tells Story of the First Home Pregnancy Test

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The home pregnancy test is often described as a considerable invention that benefited society. However the vast majority of people would not be able to tell who created this life-changing invention. Predictor, a play performed at the Johnny Carson Theater, intends to change that fact. The show tells the story of one woman, Meg Crane, and her journey to change the world with the first home pregnancy test. 

This high-energy performance begins as Meg Crane is about to sign away the rights for her design of the “Predictor”, her prototype home pregnancy test. But before she does, the stage springs to life and transforms into a game show called “Who Made That?” where it is revealed that the inventor of the home pregnancy test was… not Meg Crane. The show set fades as Meg begins to tell her story. The rest of the play follows her through the years as she struggles to be heard. While the story continues, the cast breaks off into bits and vignettes that ironically show the struggles that Meg had to go through as a woman working in an office, specifically in the 60’s. One in particular has two of the male ensemble members portraying a commercial explaining to young ladies the process of “men-stru-a-tion”. This sarcastic scene shows all of the misconceptions that were believed by people (specifically men) in the 60’s and honestly also a little today. 

The technical elements of the show were also incredible. The whole production was performed by only seven actors. One (Liz Martelli) played the protagonist, Meg Crane, while the other six switched between multiple characters. In order to differentiate, the chorus members would change small things about their costumes, like putting on an ascot or taking off a pair of glasses. While this was helpful, it wasn’t entirely necessary because the actors did so well adjusting their voice and body language that it was obvious when their characters changed.

On the note of costumes, the design in this show was amazing. They fully embodied the 60’s and helped the audience understand the show at a much higher level. On top of this, the transitions in the show were incredibly efficient and entertaining to watch. Every piece of furniture was on wheels and would be shoved across stage when the scene changed, with another ensemble member ready to catch it and decorate with any smaller set dressing needed for the scene. While the set was generally very simple, one piece stood out. Hanging at the back of the set was a screen with pictures. Pictures of women. While the pictures were not addressed the meaning was clear. “This is for them”. Meg Crane’s invention was made for them. 

Predictor knows how to pull on the audience’s heartstrings. While some scenes left the audience seething, biting their tongues and reminding themselves that the people on stage are just actors playing a part and are not actually misogynists, some scenes brought tears to nearly every eye in the audience. Especially now when the rights of women are being questioned, this play hits especially close to home. 

The playwright, Jennifer Blackmer, does an amazing job highlighting this important yet unknown moment in history. Blackmer has had multiple plays produced off-Broadway and across the country. As well as receiving many awards for her work. Lincoln is honored to be the home for the first production of this incredible play, but it will soon move on to the American Lives Theatre in Indianapolis, Indiana and eventually to Capital Stage in Sacramento, California. 

This first production of Predictor has a Lincoln High connection as well. Director Timothy Scholl is the parent of a Link. Additionally, 2022 grad Regina Hinkley assisted in the project. 

Predictor has already closed at the Johnny Carson theater, but it is a story that needs to be known. If you have any inkling of a curiosity about the story of Meg Crane, do your research. And don’t let anyone forget her name.

Leave a Comment
Navigate Left
Navigate Right

Comments (0)

All The Advocate Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *