One Acts Draws in Huge Crowd

A bit of comedy, a lot of drama but mostly passionate performances can sum up Alpha Psi Omega’s “A Night of One Acts,” which premiered Jan. 27.

The compilation was comprised of three short plays with one, “Romance,” by Neil LaBute and directed by Alexa Peyton, a junior, was performed twice to portray two different angles.

The first rendition of “Romance” featured sophomore Danny Malone as an ex-lover of Katie Morgan’s (Online Editor for THE TORCH) character. Malone gave the audience a rendering of the adulterous male who feels some guilt but more so annoyance to the appearance of Morgan’s character. Morgan had an emotional performance of a damaged lover, consumed with the fact that Malone’s character was unfaithful throughout most of their relationship. By the time of the act’s resolve, Malone accepts guilt but shows little shame or pity for his character’s wrong doing. Morgan’s character slips from the burning anger and obsession she introduces to a lover still hopeful and needing of Malone’s character.

The second portrayal of the play came after intermission and gave a flipped account of the ex-lovers’ reunion, where freshman Stacey Rivera played an adulterous ex to damaged sophomore Marquise Harris.

The evening ended on a high note, with nearly the entire theater rolling in the aisle with laughter. Little Duck, written by Billy Aronson and directed by APO President Justin Phillips, moved back and fourth from dark humor to slapstick in a fashion that never lost its edge. The play is a reflection of the cruel, deceitful world of television production and while the central plot revolves around a children’s show – the content is nothing but adult.

Transfer student John Michael Wagner portrays a paranoid network executive who struggles to keep power of his underlings, while still providing a superfluous amount of laughs. Brett Bowers, a senior, gives an all too comedic performance as head artist of “Little Duck” and asserts himself as ring-leader and head manipulator to all the drama behind the scenes of the show.

Senior Jessikah Hackett, coming from her earlier and more dramatic performance, found the balance between straight woman and adding her own comedic style. Her character is obsessed with making one minor change to the show and while assertive, Hackett is still hysterical in her determination to make the show’s pig physically challenged.

Vanessa Vilsaint, a senior, is arguably the center of the play as the show’s head writer who is reluctant to change any of her ideas. Freshman Stacey
Rivera is charmingas Holly, a hopeful television writer caught in between all of the plot’s drama and hysteria.

What came as the most interesting play was “Unwritten,” written by grad student Sarah Goncalves and directed by Daria Coney, a junior. The play centered around a young writer, Lori (Hackett’s first role of the evening), working in a burger joint. Lori meets Sam (Malone’s second role of the evening), a mere
system analyst who aspires to be an actor. Together they pair up to strengthen their passions – eventually driving Sam to lose his control of himself and reality.
While the play deals with a dramatic allegory of who we are, and how we portray ourselves, there was still a light air of comic relief to the show. Ben Kistinger, a senior, thrilled the audience as an over-energized co-worker of Sam’s – more concerned with Sam than he is.