On Friday, Feb. 9, the Black Box Theatre hosted a packed crowd on Friday Feb. 9, as sophomore theatre major Danny Carroll premiered his Act One play Rain.
Carroll began the show by addressing the audience with a welcome in which he briefly explained what they were about to see. He revealed that Rain is the first in a series of four plays that will be called The Weather Plays, then warned each viewer that the biggest mistake any of them could make would be to view the subject of rain as a metaphor or a symbol, reminding all that it is just "two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen."
The show began with a complete blackout, and the tune "Pennies from Heaven" played in the background. As the lights came up, a minimalist set reminiscent of a Samuel Beckett play appeared with two actors, sophomore Aaron Netsky and freshman Nicholas Ponterio, carrying on a discussion about the dangers of going outside of their "home" during the current rainstorm, a condition made all the more realistic by the occasional roar of thunder heard off set. Eventually, sophomore Norma Butikofer, playing the only female role in the show, entered the stage and the three proceeded to have strangely philosophical conversation all spurred by the meteorological occurrence happening right outside of their door.
The idea of the rain as a presence in the play was further cemented for the audience by the quick entrance of a soaking wet stranger played by junior John Kaczorowski. Before interacting with the other characters he shook off such a great amount of water that few in the front row were left entirely dry. He went on a rant about the dangers of traveling in the rain, yet soon ventured back into that seemingly dangerous outside world. This was much to the confusion of the other characters, who proceeded to make conclusions about his actions as well as their own.
Carroll said of his Act One play, "I'm glad people thought it was as bizarre as I hoped they would." Based on Friday's performance it is likely that the remainder of The Weather Plays will hold the same qualities of unique dialogue, symbolic characters, and an unpredictable plot that reveals something surprising, yet fundamentally enduring about human society as a whole.
Act One productions are a requirement of many theater-related majors, and occur throughout the semester. Posters and advertisements are often found throughout the Brodie Fine Arts Building prior to performances. Act Ones are free and an enjoyable theatrical experience for any Geneseo student.