"God Costume" a captivating commentary on death, divine

For last Friday's ACT I show, senior Daniel Carroll showcased his original play, "God Costume," a meditation on life and the apocalypse, in the Robert Sinclair Theatre.

Before the performance began, Carroll appeared in front of the audience to introduce the play and explain its premise. "['God Costume'] is a very different show from the ones I've done in the past. I admit it's about the end of the world - sorry I can't kick the habit."

Students who have viewed Carroll's past productions such as "The Weather Plays," are familiar with his focus on absurdist and "end of the world" themes.

In his opening speech, Carroll also added that, "['God Costume'] came from how few people are doing anything with three dimensional characters."

"God Costume" is the story of three male strangers: Rod, played by junior Nick Ponterio; Chad, junior Jack Frederick; and Mick, junior John Gasper; who fate has thrown together as the human race is coming to an end.

The three men bunker down in the room of an abandoned office building, unsure if there are other survivors and what they should do next.

Frederick's character Chad comes off as an existential businessman who suddenly finds himself very aware of the fragility of humanity and his own precarious position in the universe.

At one point in the play, speaking about his intuitive certainty that the rest of the world's population is already dead, Chad says, "The last shreds of thousands of years of human achievement are summed up in this room right now." His sincere, well performed confusion and spiritual uncertainty add to the complexity of his character.

Ponterio's character foils Chad. A countryman with a southern drawl and a plaid shirt, Rod acts as a sensitive conversational partner and a source of vain hope rather than an acceptance of the inevitable.

Gasper, meanwhile, lies apparently sleeping on the floor, and serves as an occasional conversation piece for the other actors.

Frederick and Ponterio proceed to engage in an intense dialogue, which eventually leads to a final confrontation to see which of the three will have the honor of being the last human to stay alive.

Senior Gavin Price plays God: The Lord Almighty. He enters the stage following the conflict to have a final sit-down with the winner and to allow him to ask any questions he may still have about life. Price's overly casual demeanor and dress add to the atmosphere of disappointment in the will of the divine to allow the abrupt demise of humanity.

Price does an impressive job of bringing a faintly human quality to God; though he may have immortality and absolute power, even he must admit, "I have lived every day of everyone's lives. I'm tired … I'm just tired …"

Carroll's dark comedy "God Costume" is both engaging and enlightening in its reflection on human social and religious relationships. The talented Carroll succeeds in bringing a quality play to the Geneseo stage.