‘Operation 1600’s Mission: A Good Laugh with a Political Message

The student written and directed play was put up in the Loeb Experimental theater March 23 - March 31. The play was written by Frank Garland, directed by Gregory Lipson, and produced by Connie Zhao and Sarah Shamoon. Running during pique midterm season, ’Operation 1600’ offered a much needed break from a stressful semester. 


‘Operation 1600’ had everything from an incoherent, cheeto-faced president to a hacker/narrator to Joe Biden. The sold out show depicted a ragtag team of unlikely heroes performing a heist in the White House to find and preserve the real constitution, and with it the sanctity of American government. The play satirized Trump-era government and provided a surprising commentary on extremism. While the play was very funny, using a variety of comedic techniques from word play to visual humour, it also reminded audiences of the ever present threat of radicalization as a response to a broken system.


From word play to visual humour, the show was experimental yet classic. The production featured a hilarious and creative cast, including Sathvik Sudireddy, Jahnelle Biasor, Annabelle Winter, Nick Durham, Mary Katherine Howard, Isa Lapuerta, Aidan Gibbons, Allison Scharmann, Rory Wakeford, Ruiqi He, and Nikki Daurio. Each role straddled the line of caricature-ish and realistic. It built and maintained predictable gimmicks, such as the two “criminals” who cannot do anything right and who are both secretly police women and a narrator who calls for a time change diagetically that actually leads to a synchronized set change that signifies a shift in space and time. Though the set was simplistic, the creative use of lights, wire, and set change transformed the world of the characters from scene to scene. 


“Operation 1600’ succeeded in filling the audience with joy and left us questioning how we should proceed in the current political climate so that it never gets to the point when we will have to formulate our own ’Operation 1600.’