Short Plays meet expectations

Kimberly Williams, Entertainment Editor

The Robinson drama department is known for putting on well-rehearsed productions, and the end of year student short plays were no exception.

Written, directed and performed by students, three separate short plays were acted out Friday, May 25 in the theater Black Box. The featured plays included “We’re Going Up,” “Nightmare on Sesame Street,” and “Superhero Sanitarium.”

The first show of the night was “We’re Going Up,” directed by Ivonte Milligan. In the comedy, a businessman named Daniel Smith enters an elevator alongside Tim Jenkins, who is about to report for an interview at the company. Tim continuously annoys and questions Daniel, including everything from Daniel’s Bluetooth headset to his briefcase. Daniel is in distress after learning the next up-and-coming superstar he was going to present to his boss cannot follow through with her commitment anymore. Just as Christine Banks, a woman reporting for an inter­view, enters, the elevator breaks down. After Chris­tine and Tim learn Daniel is looking for an assistant at the company, they do all they can to impress him. Tim and Christine pose as “the hottest new act” just as long as Daniel hires both of them. An unexpected plot twist occurs. The audience learns Tim is actu­ally dating Daniel’s mother. After a brief and cha­otic fight, Tim and Daniel make amends. When the elevator starts working again, all is settled between everyone.

“We’re Going Up” was a clever and humorous short play which engaged viewers from the very be­ginning. The actors did an excellent job of staying in character even when the spotlight wasn’t on them. The simple and confined setting allowed for crazy antics to occur without the characters being able to leave.This was a great opening play for the whole show.

The comedy/murder mystery “Nightmare on Sesame Street,” directed by Jackson Viccora, stars Elmo, Cookie Monster, and the rest of the Sesame Street gang who seem to be solving the mystery of who killed Ernie. The producer of the show takes on the role of questioning all of them to uncover the mystery. After several failed attempts to figure out who did the deed, the killer (disguised in a hockey mask), comes forward and demands millions of dol­lars. Suddenly, the mask is taken off, revealing Bert as the killer. In revenge for not being given the money, Bert starts killing off everyone, including Oscar the Grouch, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Big Bird and Count von Count. Bert leaves the producer with one more chance to get him the money. She agrees to his de­mands and runs out of the room. At once, all of the “dead” muppets rise once the producer is gone, re­vealing their ultimate plan of sharing the money be­tween them all.

“Nightmare on Sesame Street” was interesting to watch and definitely kept the audience intrigued. The costumes were appropriate (face paint and matching clothes in honor of the character the actor played) and the combination of comedy and murder thrill worked well together. The actors also did a fine job with giving their characters a certain twist. Elmo was not as cheery as the audience knows him to be, and Oscar the Grouch showed a more thoughtful side to him.

“Superhero Sanitarium” was the last perfor­mance of the night, and perhaps the most complex. Directed by Jamie Green, this play was packed with silly comedy and flashy costumes. A reporter named Lois Lancaster meets up with Speed Freak, a patient at a psychiatric hospital who believes he has the su­perpower of speed. More “superheroes” join the in­terview, including Dimbulb (has the power to turn off lights within 50 feet), Mental (has the power to read minds) and Kevin (prefers not to share his pow­ers). Within the interview, the group shares how they acquired their superpowers, including wacky things like Mental eating radioactive Pop-Tarts. Kevin eventually opens up to the reporter, revealing that he can see “the watchers,” which is in fact the audience watching the play. When Lois gets a call which forces her to abruptly leave and reschedule the interview, the seemingly crazy patients start act­ing normal, suggesting they aren’t who they appear to be. They discuss they need to act even weirder so they can convince Lois they are actually crazy. When Lois returns, she gets yet another call about a bank robbery which forces her to leave again. The “super­heroes” leave right after Lois leaves, and the audience later finds out they were in fact saving the bank and actually are superheroes. When Lois returns for the third time, the superheroes discover Lois set up the robbery so she could gain fame and money by report­ing on it. Mental reveals a second power- she can erase minds. After contemplating whether or not Mental should erase Lois’ mind so she doesn’t reveal their superpower secrets, they decide Mental should erase Lois’ memory.

This play was the longest of the three, and packed in a bunch of plot twists and turns. With all the crazy and colorful costumes, the high-energy acting, and the comedic script, “Superhero Sanitarium” was en­joyable and extremely funny.

At the end of the night, it was clear the entire au­dience enjoyed all three short plays. Each and every actor stayed in character and delivered their lines confidently, all the sets were put together nicely,and the props and costumes fit the parts. Overall, the short plays were a success for the drama department.