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5-in-1: The best of "Uno, Part Deux" cast A

By Tallyn Owens
Executive Entertainment Editor

As I reported in the previous issue of the Prospector, the fall play, entitled “Uno, Part Deux” would consist of several small one act plays, breaking free of the traditional format of years past.
The great thing about this production is the variety. The program is designed to no one act feels too similar to the one before it. Additionally, they all have something interesting to offer between the size of the cast, the genre or the style of acting.

Here, I whittle down my top five of the 11 plays from the Cast A performances, which I saw at the Oct. 19 premier. To see these particular one act shows live there will be another performance Friday Oct. 21 beginning at seven p.m.

1. Who’s a Good Boy
Directed by Jeremy Morton.
Starring Brendan Chapman, Elli Furukawa, Keagan Anderson, Kelsey Henquinet, Lauren Bell

This play combines three things I love: obvious comedy, a noir detective theme and dogs. “Who’s a Good Boy” is told entirely from the perspective of dogs. Anderson stars as a the dog-detective who is tricked into investigating a missing tennis ball by a femme-fatale poodle played by Henquinet. One re-occurring joke of the play is that the characters don’t know that it’s called a tennis ball because they’re dogs. In short, this is essentially the Big Lebowski with dogs, which is really an ideal realm of the universe. It’s also a very funny play.

2.The Machine Stops
Directed by John Meyers and Student Directed by Bridget O’Carroll and Keagan Anderson. Starring: Shannon Kobler, Franco Longobardi, Dana Lasswell, Lauren Bell, Katelyn Kiner, Mei Pow, Marie Kaniecki, Samantha White, Quinn Stewart, Sharzard Ayrempour, Marguerite Incardone, Kathleen Alicoate, David Pittman, Jacob Molli, Joe Heyman, Kasia Kuzniar, Alexandra Chimielewski, Kelly Ann Cunningham, Danielle Keeton-Olson, Sarah Cooper
“The Machine Stops” is different from all the other one-acts in two very distinct ways. The act runs at 15 minutes, longer than any other in the Cast A show and the genre is far and beyond. It’s a philosophic science-fiction epic based on the short story of the same name by E.M. Forster. It creates interest through the experimental blocking (positions) of the actors, as they become the machine.
3. Basic Training
Directed by Scott McDermott.
Starring Josh Arshonsky and Brendan Chapman
“Basic Training” without a doubt contains the most gay subtext I have ever seen on a high school stage. It tells the cliche story of one bro trying to help his other bro pick up women. Chapman, who plays the love tutor, obviously failed whatever convoluted certification class you need in order to qualify for that role. He delivers humorous advice that involves casual groping between friends and the line, “you remind me of a prostitute I met in Fresno once.” Irresistible, am I right, ladies?
4. The Mercy Seat
Directed By Stephen Colella
Starring Michael Stolarz and Jaqueline Dunderdale
“The Mercy Seat” stuck out from the very beginning of the act. Being a month outside of the 10th Anniversary of September 11th, it manages to tell a very complex story in a very short amount of time. The dilemma of the play isn’t immediately apparent but once I occurred to me, my hand flew up over my heart, which is the place I like to keep it when I get engrossed or emotional invested in any performance. In addition to utilizing sound effects in a unique way, Stolarz, a sophomore, and Dunderdale, a senior, deliver convincing performances of two very mature roles.
5.This Moment
Directed by Patrick Pfohl and Lauren Kinser
Starring Kyle Scott, Allie O’Conner, James Farquharson, Lauren Bell, Emily McNally
As a girl whose best friend is a boy (who was also with me at the show), “This Moment” hits a little too close to home but is still filled with a lovely mix of self-deprecation and sweetness. It tells the age old story of the boy who falls for his best friend and the madness the ensues. In this case, much of the madness was hypothetical but very indicative of every irrational thought that runs through one’s head in a situation like that. I won’t spoil the ending, but as the protagonist describes it, “it isn’t so much a happy ending, it’s just a less depressing one.”

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