Baccalaureate Review – Coming of Age at Oxford

Saurabh Kikani in BACCALAUREATE - Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

The Whitefire Theatre continues its airing of “the Best of the Fest” from their Solofest presentations with BACCALAUREATE, written, performed, and directed by Saurabh Kikani. Now you can sit “front row center” while enjoying theater in your living room. Whitefire first streamed BACCALAUREATE on Friday June 5, 2020.

Saurabh Kikani – Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

Painfully shy and a stickler for every rule, San Bernardino born-and-raised, first-class nerd Saurabh Kikani gets the dream-come-true opportunity to study at Oxford University during his high school’s summer abroad program. Surrounded by other 16-year-olders from all over the world, Saurabh feels the first stirrings of teen-aged rebellion as he explores life, love, and hormones in an unfamiliar environment very far from home. When Saurabh spots his beautiful and sophisticated classmate Noor, a never-been-kissed and never-even-dated saga begins in his feverish 16-year-old brain. Oxford offers him some new buddies – and one enemy – as he learns to adjust to “life in the fast lane – teenage style.” Between his first kiss and his first beer, maturity takes on a whole new meaning. Life in the dorms certainly offers more opportunities than life in suburban San Bernardino. Especially for a boy who has espoused Greek philosopher Zeno’s Paradoxes for 16 years: each new step covers half the distance – and so you will never arrive at your goal.

And then a very conflicted Saurabh happens upon a movie, Mission: Impossible, which opens new doors for him – doors in which everything is possible and adventure beckons. Why not embrace all that life has to offer with enthusiasm and perpetual curiosity? Life will never be the same for this quiet, unassuming kid.

Saurabh Kikani – Photo by Bryan Rasmussen

A professional stand-up comic, storyteller, film producer, and writer, Saurabh does a bang-up job of sharing teen angst, innermost thoughts, hopes, and dreams in this solo production. Projections constitute his major props as he journeys from experience to experience in this charming tale about – ready or not – growing up. Clearly, this true story about a couple of months in Saurabh’s life has left an indelible mark which will remain with him forever. One way or another, everyone has gone through similar rites of passage on the road to adulthood – making Saurabh’s trip both familiar and fascinating.

BACCALAUREATE can be streamed from the Whitefire Theater’s library. Tickets are $9.99 with a service charge of $2.60. For tickets and information, call Whitefire at 818-687-8559 or go online.

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