Kayli Hertel – Managing Editor
After 278 performances as Karl Marx, Bob Weick entered Yamawaki as the famed philosopher in Howard Zinn’s production of “Marx in Soho.” Weick performed at Lasell before as Marx and each time he engaged his audience with the story of Marx as philosopher and man.
In 70 minutes, the audience comes to learn about Jenny, Marx’s sweet and supportive wife who aids his writing, his friends who were also philosophers, and his followers, who he sees as an embarrassment.
Throughout the play, Weick, as Marx, repeats the sentiment, “I am not a Marxist.” Weick explores communism in the way Marx meant it, not the way his followers projected it. He explores the gap between the rich and the poor, a typical Marx concept, but holds it to present day standards. Marx inspires audiences to “give people what they need,” according to Weick.
This event was one of many put on by the Donahue Institute for Values and Public Life, and is the third time Weick performed at Lasell as Marx since 2005. Susana Lum, a junior and assistant at the Institute, felt strongly about the production and its message.
“The whole play reminds the audience of the growing gap between rich and poor and whether government is properly addressing it,” said Lum. “It’s interesting to show students that despite how long Marx’s values have been around, his ideas are still very much relevant to present day issues.”
Weick interacted with his audience by incorporating them into the play. His conversation as Marx is fluid and makes the call to activism digestible. As himself, Weick urged the audience to be active citizens in their everyday lives and societies.
According to Lum, this is the final event from the Donahue Institute this year but planning for next year is already underway. Recently, they scheduled a Distinguished Donahue Scholar for 2016.
“Her name is Lee Ann De Reus and she is the co-founder of the Panzi Foundation USA – a non-profit which aids rape victims in eastern Congo,” said Lum.