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Speed Theatre: Two Plays in an Hour

After embarrassing myself inside the women’s restroom, in which a kind young lady informed me I was located, I found my seat in 102 Forum. I went in not knowing what to expect, and I left unsure of what I had witnessed.

I wasn’t confused. At no point during One Stage Revolution’s student-directed one act plays was there a misunderstanding. I was unsure of what meaning to take from the plays due to their demand for critical thinking, and that’s why I enjoyed them.

The two plays were drastically different.

The Man Who Turned Into a Stick, a play by Kobo Abe, was directed by Penn State freshman Pieter Tubergen. Hipsters played by Martin Byrne and Kayleigh Denneler were goofy and cartoon-like. That should be taken as a compliment, as the two were a hilarious duo. Evan Smith and Kendyl Keesey played more serious and well spoken roles as people from Hell. The play had only one prop, and not ironically, it was a stick. Chris Hirsh played the man who turned into that stick.

Props weren’t necessary however, as the play’s emphasis was on the dialogue. In the end, it seemed to be a critique of society and the tendency many have to follow without question. One of the final lines suggests that a stick is just a stick, and it’s a shame it never tried to be anything more.

The night took an emotional turn as Maria Irene Fornes’ Springtime began, a play directed by Penn State student Miriah Rutledge. In the play, a lesbian couple struggles with their relationship and the sexual and emotional abuse of a man. Gretta was played by Rachel Brown, and Rainbow was played by Kiersten Ferno. Geremy Graham played the abusive man Ray.

While the subject matter was intense, the play’s most powerful moments were in it’s three dance scenes. Graham had no lines, but his role was to depict the act of sexual abuse through dance numbers with Ferno and Brown. They were emotional and tragic scenes that helped to embody the struggles of the two women.

These weren’t flashy plays, but they weren’t meant to be. The idea was to captivate the audience and leave them questioning a bigger picture. I think they achieved their goal.

If you’d like to see these one act plays, they will be performed tonight at 7:30 p.m. in 105 Forum. They are free and open to anyone who wants to watch a wonderful hour of theater.

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