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ATS Showcase Review

This+is+the+pamphlet+from+the+2018+Advanced+Theatre+Studio.+
This is the pamphlet from the 2018 Advanced Theatre Studio.

This is the pamphlet from the 2018 Advanced Theatre Studio.

This is the pamphlet from the 2018 Advanced Theatre Studio.

By Ella Ilg, Staff Writer

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This past Tuesday was the Advanced Theatre Studio showcase, featuring five student-written plays that were each about 10 minutes long. Each play was adapted from a song, and written by students in the class. The writers direct their own show and cast their classmates in their short production. This showcase is the students final.

The first play, titled “The Weekend” was adapted from the SZA song “The Weekend,” written by Alina Connie and Alexis Aponte, and directed by Connie. It starred Tatiana Jimenez, Anthony Saldana, Priscilla Rivera and Rita Yohanna. This was a funny show about a player, his side chick and his girlfriend, and a nice opener given that the rest of the short plays are pretty dark. It was a simple idea and it wasn’t overly drawn out or too long. I could definitely see an idea like this one be executed in a far worse that way, but it was well-written dialogue without being overly sophisticated in an unrealistic way. It was a solid scene. 7/10.A

The second play “How Much a Dollar Cost” was adapted from the Kendrick Lamar song of the same name, written by Sean Collins and Melanie Kurz and directed by Collins. It starred Kerz as a homeless person sitting on a stoop and Maja Mitrovic as a wealthy woman refusing to give up her change to Kerz’s cup. By the end, it is Mitrovic who ends up crying on the stoop with the cup in her hand extended and the scene ends with Kerz casually walking by and dropping money in the cup. The last moment of this scene was exceptional role reversal imagery, and definitely the only place where the blocking stuck out in my mind. The scene definitely felt drawn out, and I feel would’ve worked better if the minimum time was closer to five minutes. It felt long but was still a had a solid message and a good twist. 5/10.

The third play “The Cowboy Kid” is adapted from the song “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People, and was written and directed by Parth Shah. It stars Kenan Ozer as Robert, Ryland Narvaez as his conscience Rob, and Poom Pasapong as their alcoholic, abusive father. Robert has had enough, and Rob eggs him onto taking his dad’s gun and stealing his cigarettes. The object work for the cigarettes was god awful, but I’d be concerned if it was realistic. The scene ends with Robert shooting his dad, sticking his gun in his backpack and leaving the stage. There is a single spotlight on the backpack and audio recordings listing off all the school shootings since Columbine It felt like Prospect High: Brooklyn condensed into 10 minutes. It was incredibly well written with help of the raw emotion of Ozer and the intense energy of Narvaez. 10/10.

The fourth show, “Ba De Ya” is adapted from the song “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire, it was written by Brylle Abad and Narvaez, and directed by Abad. It starred Noah Nogueras as Klem, Angel Rivas as his younger self Klempt, Donya Richter as Rose Marie and Lily Gussis as her younger self Rosie. It follows Klem’s struggle with dementia and Rose’s struggle in dealing with his dementia. It bounces between past and present and the past becomes Klem’s warped memories, moving around until Klem finally remembers and he passes out, followed by myself and other audience members going “Nooo.” This show definitely sucked you in and made you feel very depressed about the elderly couple’s situation. Nogueras completely disappeared into his role and it resulted in the scene being very effective. 8/10.

The final scene, “Travelin’ Soldier” is adapted from the Dixie Chicks song of the same name. It was written by Lynn Nguyen and Tricia Pabst, directed by Pabst and starred Shannon Berg as Bonnie and Tristan Lovestrand as Robert. It takes place in a diner in 1970, run by Bonnie. Robert passes by and there’s instant chemistry, but he’s passing through town, on the way to be deployed to Vietnam. He writes to her as he has no other family, and one day a year later she listens to the reported casualties over the radio, hears his name, and the scene goes black. The death of a young Vietnam soldier in a new relationship is definitely a dark note to end on, but the scene was certainly well done. The character chemistry was adorably shown and written, and there was never a character break between the two. It wasn’t well established enough to feel sad for his death, but it was only 10 minutes long. 8/10.

This semester’s ATS Showcase was amazing to watch and incredibly well-rehearsed and written. It’s great to see students take part in every part of the show making process, and the student’s skills shined through. It was a great way to spend my Tuesday afternoon.

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