Have you ever wondered how your present self would interact with your past or future self? Or how your younger self would view who you are in the present? Such questions were explored in the student-run production of “Acts in Time” on Oct. 26-28 in Sturges Auditorium. Presented by Ghostlight Productions—formerly known as Cothurnus Club—“Acts in Time” features three one-act plays. The performance doubled as an educational theater workshop, meaning it was both written and directed by Geneseo students. The show was written by English major sophomore Hannah McSorley and directed by childhood with special education major junior Zachary Berube.
The first short play, “Castles,” showed the interaction between one’s past and present self. Young adult Gregory—played by physics major sophomore Corey Wilkinson—attempted to reconcile with his enthusiastic past self, “Young Gregory,” played by Berube.
In the first act, Young Gregory works to build a sandcastle, which is meant to serve as a metaphor for life. Meanwhile, Gregory’s older self—played by international relations major freshman John McDermott—criticizes his innocent view on life.
The second play focuses on five main characters dealing with the nondescript, secular afterlife in which they are trapped. Originally a short story of McSorley’s, “No ... Next” focuses on each character realizing their mortality—represented by a giant played by mathematics major sophomore Julia Tellerman—and the potential loss of their treasured memories.
The production concluded with “Linear,” which is similar in theme to “Castles,” except this play features three main characters. The characters consist of Nora, played by psychology major senior Sarah Simon, Meg, played by Tellerman and Ferne, played by art history major junior Victoria Elliott.
These three characters are all versions of the same woman at different times throughout her life. Nora is the woman’s present self. Meg serves as the past version of Nora and represents her memories. Ferne is Nora’s future self who guides others through a forest until Nora is forced to kill Meg, an act that symbolizes letting go of her past.
McSorley had been penning the plays over the past year and wanted her writing to translate onto the stage. “I wanted to present these plays because I took a theater class last semester, and I realized the opportunity of the theatrical medium,” McSorley said.
As a writer of many other literary forms, this was McSorley’s first attempt at playwriting. “[Theater] is much different from other forms of writing,” she said. “There’s the visual aspect, so you can use that to replace metaphors or descriptions. It’s also more of a team effort compared to other writing, where there’s just the author and the reader; so there’s a lot of levels of interpretation.”
Berube and McSorley collaborated in choosing the cast of students who auditioned in early October. “[Berube] did a pretty good job at interpreting [the plays],” McSorley said. “They stayed true to the writing for the most part, and it was really amazing to see my words coming out of other people’s mouths.”
A fantastic example of what Geneseo students are capable of, “Acts in Time” not only asks its audience to consider life in a different light, but also delivers comforting, meaningful messages that can easily be translated into the lives of all viewers.