10-minute plays short and sweet

 

Jennifer Byrd

News Editor

JB-Short_Sweet_04262013

On April 18, “Short and Sweet: A Ten Minute Play festival” opened at the H.B. Atkinson Theatre for a four-night run. Although it was free to attend, as it is for all students and seniors, it would have been well worth the cost of admission, plus some.

Six plays, written, directed and performed by students take the audience on a faced-paced journey from serious issues facing American youth to hilarious satire.

“Dreams”, written and directed by Rena Vann, stars Mikki Kendall as Ella, an overweight and very talented actress that beats out her less talented, but skinny, competition for a lead role. Amy Lilly plays antagonist Jane. This play was heartfelt and well written.

“Voices”, written and directed by Matthew Herdman, explores the issue of bullying from the victim’s perspective, played by Logan Hensley. It starts with the lights down while sound bites from news reports recount the many murders and suicides that have resulted from bullying. This story has a powerful message, which D’Vonte Stewart’s character repeats over and over, “things will get better!”

“Don’t Forget The Tip”, written and directed by Kim Wasinger is hilarious. What at first seems like two girls, played by Kara Dore and Bryanna Hays, on a road trip quickly turns into a plot to kidnap the waiter, played by Jake Searock, and murder him.  The writer did an excellent job of keeping the audience guessing what the girls were doing until the very end.

“The Solace of a Neighbor”, written and directed by Greg Crall, was another piece taking on real world issues. While suffering a panic attack, Sarah, played by T.K. Morrison, asks God for help. He sends it in the form of crazy neighbor Larry, brilliantly acted by Richie Rayfield. Rayfield’s Larry reminds me of Heath Ledger’s chaotic Joker, minus the evil psychopath part.

“To Videodrome, With Love”, written and directed by J.W. Morgan, follows two friends, played by Thomas Patrick Boyle and Sally Van der Veer, on a murderous plot to eliminate Videodrome’s screenwriter, Fisher, played by D’Vonte Stewart. They blame Fisher, and others like him, for the dumbing down of American cinema and they aren’t going to let him ruin Videodrome. In the end, the successful murder leaves the assailant remorseful, crying over the dead body, realizing murder may have been a bit drastic. The writing was good, but the F bomb was dropped repeatedly and lessened the powerful message.

“The Café”, written by Chris Dorian and directed by Brooke Clevenger, was by far my favorite. Rena Vann’s comedic talent shines again as she plays the ditzy and loveable Malibu. Lauren Colston, Nick Montoya, Jake Searock and Courtney Knight round out the cast of this hilarious play where four friends and a waitress discuss pregnancy, intelligence and beauty in a local café. The story ends in an impromptu dance party and definitely deserves, as Malibu would say, “snaps for Jesus!”

Don’t miss the 2013-2014 Theatre Season that opens this fall 

Anonymous delivers signature entertainment

Chelsea Ratterman, Assistant Editor

The writings of William Shakespeare are taught to the world for their detail and fascinating characters. Yet, the events surrounding the man who wrote the plays remain a mystery that has captivated the minds like those of Mark Twain and Sigmund Freud.

The movie “Anonymous” attempts to tackle the idea that William Shakespeare did not write the plays that made him so famous, but were instead written by an aristocrat during the tumultuous period of the reign of Elizabeth I, known as Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, played by Rhys Ifans.

The movie follows the life of Ben Jonson, best known for becoming the first Poet Laureate of England. Jonson was a playwrite of London who was confined for his plays. When de Vere secured Jonson’s release, he agreed to stage the plays he had written over the years, as support for the Earl of Essex’s campaign against the Cecils’ plan for James, King of Scotland to inherit the English throne.

He assumed this path of action after visiting a theater and sees how spectators can be swayed by the action on stage, which affirms his belief that words, and by relation, art, is the most important weapon available. “All art is political, otherwise it is just decoration,” de Vere said, during one of his meetings with Jonson.

Rafe Spall plays William Shakespeare, an actor who becomes the front for the operation, to the horror of the Earl. The movie takes a dark turn with the murder of a playwright and informer to the Tower, as the Cecils grow closer to de Vere.

The lives of the characters unravel as the story progresses and ends with the vow by Robert Cecil that de Vere’s name will never appear on his plays. The movie is filmed in Germany, with sets of London made and CGI putting the final touches on the film.

While perhaps not appropriate for the under 13 audience, the political and romantic intrigue that form the core of this movie provide the movie goer with an interesting twist on one of the greatest men ever known.