Drama department produces short plays

After the popular production of Robinson Drama’s adaption of “Hairspray,” several actors, writers, and directors were at it again, this time putting on original short plays. The annual short plays in the Black Box allow students to create their own creative pieces to perform for friends and family. Much time goes into thinking of, creating, and performing the short plays, and the hard work shows off during the performances.

“Stan the Barista,” written by sophomores Sarah Marksteiner and Chris Mayhew, follows a group of workers and an owner named Stan (Mayhew) in a coffee shop called “Stan.” The shop is popular and largely occupied by hippies, so after a businessman proposes franchising, the owners of “Stan” are widely against the idea. They don’t want to become successful and well-known, so they create an underground coffee shop called “Nats,” or just “Stan” backwards. A woman named Clarisse, who appears to be obsessed with Stan, claims someone has tweeted the location of the new coffee shop “Nats.” As hipsters again occupy the new shop, the mystery unfolds of who tweeted the new location and ruined the exclusivity, revealing Clarisse as the culprit.

Although original and creative, “Stan the Barista” was a bit confusing to follow. The play was a continuation of a short play from last year, so it didn’t quite make sense to audience members who didn’t see the first part. The actors were primarily sophomores and knew each other beforehand, so there was a certain connection between the actors that contributed to the comedy.

Junior Spencer Boyd’s “The Laundromat” revealed an even sillier plot. A man named Steve (Boyd) is in a Laundromat as Jerry (AJ Martin) enters and immediately strips down to his underwear. The awkwardness unfolds as Steve is quite uncomfortable with a mostly naked man near him in public, and after trying to make small talk with Jerry, Steve receives word  his bank account was robbed. Jerry soon drops a briefcase full of money and a gun, so Steve assumes Jerry was the robber. Meanwhile, a woman named Maria is silently watching everything in the laundromat. Because Steve had touched the money from the briefcase, Jerry blackmails him by saying his fingerprints will be on the money, thus causing Steve to agree with Jerry to escape the laundromat after the cops surround the building. They make a getaway, and after a cop (Patrick Robinson) enters, they all break out into song and dance. Jerry reveals that instead of robbing a bank, he robbed “A. Bank,” or Adam Bank, his friend. Maria is revealed as the real robber. Steve again trusts Jerry and they claim they are now best friends.

All of the actors in “The Laundromat” were hilarious and gave their characters unique and entertaining personalities. There was just the right amount of goofiness to give the play a lighthearted and hilarious feel. This play had the simplest set of all three plays, but the story and acting made up for the loss of visuals.

In “Bun in the Oven,” written by senior Jackson Viccora, an expecting couple Abby and Jason (Anna Ready and Chris Moalli) attend a lamaze class, a class to help parents prepare for childbirth. Other couples enter the class, including a strange gothic couple Tabatha and Sledge (Sarah Irving and Elijah King), an extremely happy Gene and Pamela (Jamie Green and Mary Cate Turgeon), the wife of Redskins player Robert Griffin III, Kate (Lauren Rainford), as well as the instructor Sam (Mohammed Aarij). The couples share stories of how they each met their wives and husbands and class soon starts. Things get a little crazy as the instructor has the couples pretend to live through the birthing experience by using fruits for babies. The class later progresses into “intense yoga,” or spreading icing all over the wives’ faces. The couples question the legitimacy of the instructor after being confused about his unorthodox methods, which he later explains actually do make sense in mimicking real life scenarios with the delivery and parenting. The couples talk about their fears about becoming parents, as Kate’s water breaks and is rushed to the hospital. Tabatha and Sledge reveal they are not actually that strange and dark; it was an act to invite people to a comedy club, and Abby and Jason leave the class as Abby begins to feel contractions.

The acting in this play was believable, as audience members were able to like and dislike certain characters from the beginning. The ensemble of actors gave the play certain dynamic that worked in its favor. All of the characters had different extreme personalities to highlight the comedic moments.

As usual, the short plays this year were all comedies and displayed great talent in novice actors as well as those who are quite experienced in theater. It is impressing to see how much work teenagers put into their plays to pull off a professional show. Short plays next year will certainly be tough to follow.