Friday, June 8, 2012

Act Well Thy Part: One Act Performance Art

 By Cammy Blount of the Fourm

Photos provided by Marie McCool / Terry M. Fisher Theatre

It was a night of romance and laughter during this year’s evening of one acts at the Florissant Valley Terry M. Fisher Theater.  Opening night proved to be unusually exciting with an abundant turnout. While each piece was unique in it’s own right, they each utilized light humorous themes. For sure, they were one for the books, these one act plays, each keeping the viewers’ eyes glued to the stage.


Water and Wine
By Stuart Spencer
Directed by Chris Stevens

In a small European village, two men, Buonarroti (Daniel Ludwig) and Jiuliano (Marty Cosentino) visit winemaker Giovannie (Scott Martin) and his son Enrico (Christopher Armstead) to purchase a rare sculpture. During the visit, Buonarroti and Enrico discuss Enrico’s passion to become an artist, with Buonarroti suggesting that Enrico is not indeed cut out for such a profession.  Martin portrayed his character well with a nicely a placed accent and authentic peasant persona.  Ludwig, however, stole the show with a very passionate monologue about religion, art and creation.  The stage set was simple yet creative, with a table, closet and wine rack portraying a wine cellar.

Alien Hand Syndrome
By Michael Erickson
Directed by Taylor Gruenloh

The timid Mark (Bregt Bogaerts) begins to live vicariously through his uncontrollable right hand, similar to that of the 1999 hit film Idle Hands. In a comical turn of events, he insults his boss Mr. Smalls (Alexander L. Hylton) through a mass email, seduces his coworker Emily (Chelsea McDaniel) and gets into a brawl with himself. It is reveled that his right hand’s behavior is a manifestation of an inner persona named Hank.  Bogaerts and McDaniel kept the theater filled with laughter, with Bogaerts throwing himself into his role, literally and figuratively.  The stage was quickly turned from a wine cellar into a street, then movie theater, then a home. During the movie theater scene, the light crew uniquely cast shadows and reflections to mimic a theater screen.

The Boor
By Anton Chekhov
Directed by Daniel J. Betzler

Debt collector Grigori Stepanovitch Smirnov (Sherard Curry) visits widow Helena Ivanovna (Kayleigh Clark) to collect money owed by her deceased husband. The two become infuriated, challenging each other to a dual as the servant (Kareem Spann) tries to divert the conflict. In a twist of events, the two become infatuated with one another.  Clark’s portrayal was a bit lukewarm, with a lazily placed accent and desaturated emotions.  In contrast, Curry’s character portrayal was very colorful, with clear facial expressions, loud voice projection and a believable British accent. The stage crew transformed the home from the previous performance into a mansion. 

By P.J. Gibson
Directed by
Renee Thomas Woods

Couple Nanyel (Jayden Reign) and Derek (Richard Ross) meet after a year of separation to rekindle the flames in their marriages, only to find that they have grown apart. At first glance, Derek is loving and warm, while Nanyel is cold and prissy.  We soon find that the separation is a result of Derek’s transformation into an unsympathetic politician, in turn inspiring Nanyel’s change of heart.  Reign and Ross gave remarkable performances, each projecting their voices and character emotions well. The mansion in the previous performance was transformed into a cabin and during an intense discussion between Nanyel and Derek, a storm rolls in and the lights are adjusted and flickered to cast the illusion of a power outage. 

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