VegSOUP presented a cycle of one-act plays in the Brodie Black Box Theatre this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights under the banner Working Title. Included were Truth Therapy written by senior Anastasia M. Stumpf and directed by senior Renee Hartz, as well as Cecity written by junior James Merenda and Rain, written by sophomore D. Welser Carroll. Cecity and Rain were both directed by senior Jason Gonser.
The performances ranged in subject matter and themes. Each provided a unique opportunity for the theater students at Geneseo to showcase their talents and for the directors to experiment with presentation and interpretation.
Truth Therapy headed the line up of Working Title, engaging audience members with its frightening scenes of psychological introspection. The play followed the story of a young compulsive liar named Miss Perkins, played by sophomore Sarah Rychlik, whose actions ultimately land her in a psych ward. There, fantasy and reality become blurred to the audience through her perspective.
Rychlik did a fantastic job of portraying the crazed Perkins who slowly slips into madness. She captured the character's emotion and confusion as she eventually drowns in her lies. The doctors also did a tremendous job of bringing a haunting atmosphere to life in this play, especially Dr. A and Dr. C, played by sophomores Liz Hoffman and Norma Butikofer respectively. In particular, the opening and closing scenes saw all of the doctors, as imagined by Perkins, screaming, laughing and wildly gesticulating as they accuse her of lying and question her about her lies.
Truth Therapy was, without question, the most suspenseful and thrilling play of the evening, and the cast as well as director did a superb job of capturing this essence on the Geneseo stage.
Cecity was the second play in Working Title, and provided a noted dramatic shift from the intensity of Truth Therapy. This performance involved a single conversation on a subway train between a male college student named Bobby, played by freshman Alex Cupelo, and a young blind woman named Riana, played by freshman Meaghan Elicks. Their discussion included common misconceptions about being disabled in modern day America. They spoke of the ability of the blind to lead a normal life, the benefits of not being "normal," and about whether or not a disabled person's accomplishments should be considered more extraordinary than those of a fully functioning individual.
Both Cupelo and Elicks did a good job of lightening the mood after Truth Therapy, as well as portraying the curiosity and eventual change in opinion of their characters. Cecity proved to be another success with the Geneseo audience.
The final play in Working Title was Rain, previously performed this year as a one act performance. It was a piece reminiscent of a Samuel Beckett play, and a perfect ending to the show as it combined the psychological aspects of Truth Therapy and the philosophical tendencies of Cecity, with the addition of its own comedic twists.
The play opened to the two main male characters, Red, played by senior Jordan Van Brink and Tim, played by freshman Michael Radi, discussing the ever-present rain outside and debating whether it will stop and what to do in the meantime. A female character named Margot, portrayed by freshman Tiffany Everspaugh, soon joined them. Their speculations continued, interspersed with several hilarious incidents including a small song and dance about how "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down." Their despair at the weather made the ironic ending of Rain all the more humorous for the audience, and the actors did a great job at capturing the absurdity of the characters situation.
Working Title was truly an enjoyable event that provided yet another grand opportunity for Geneseo's actors, crew and production members to entertain and delight their fellow students and community members.