OpenStage’s ‘Ideation’ creatively uses an office meeting to examine the human condition

Maddie Wright


A poster of someone in a gas mask with the word "Ideation"
Poster for “Ideation” by OpenStage

OpenStage Theater & Company’s production of “Ideation” examines the human existence in 90 minutes. 


The local theater organization’s play is about an office meeting gone awry. It starts off slow and dreary with talk of kid’s soccer games, the boss’s demands and a borderline incompetent 22 year-old-assistant. It’s just a typical office meeting. But then the whole show takes a sharp turn, getting exponentially more intense as the play continues and the characters delve into important issues. 

The play was performed on a small stage, making it an intimate experience. The set was very minimalist. It included a table, some office chairs, legal pads and other random office supplies.The show was like “12 Angry Men” in that it occurred at one table with high emotions throughout. 

The audience was pushed right up against the action. The arrangement provides a “fly on the wall” experience for the audience, similar to other psychological shows like Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s journey Into Night.” It was claustrophobic in a good way. 

The characters in “Ideation” talks in depth about the idea of what is real and what is not, all while they’re at a corporate office meeting. It really gets to the core of the human condition and asks a lot of questions without giving us answers. Do we follow orders blindly? How trusting are we supposed to be of authority? How trusting is authority supposed to be of us? Do we even have the right to question? How do we really know anything?

The ending leaves a lot open. There’s no conclusion for what happens to the characters, not even the one who mysteriously disappeared halfway through the show. But that’s the point of the show. We never truly know anything.

It combines harsh topics like viruses and death camps with more relatable topics like business people and Starbucks. It also deals with the topic of capitalism, incorporating the idea of “big brother” and how all we can do is set the world up for our best interests. In a lot of ways, it’s a think piece.

Should you see it? Yes

Overall, this show raises questions about society and our actions. A lot of questions, and I mean, a lot. And it leaves you to consider your place in the world, which is both refreshing and scary. 

More about “Ideation:”

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Suspense


When: Now- October 14

Where: ArtLab

Collegian reporter Maddie Wright can be reached at or on Twitter @maddierwright.