Underclassman Actors Display Talent
Last Saturday, in “Eight at 8,” first- and second-year students performed and directed a collection of short dramatic works, as part of a three-day event produced by sophomore Josh Sobel.
“It’s pretty much the only production where freshmen can show their stuff without competing with upperclassmen,” said David Petrick, a first-year in the showcase.
Each piece showcased two to four actors playing relatively sophisticated roles with great artistry.
While less intimate than their two-person counterparts, the ensemble pieces, “Marlon Brando,” “The Philadelphia,” “Slop-culture” and “4 a.m. – Open All Night,” were generally more humorous, though equally thoughtful.
First-year actors Petrick, Tommy Morello and Katie McVay won the audience over with their clever quips in “The Philadelphia,” while first-years Zachary Kampton and Donnie Sheldon portrayed every parent’s post-college nightmare with ease in “Slop-Culture.”
The two-person vignettes, “Hal and Cathy,” “Anything for You,” “Misplaced Shoes and Other Confusions” and “The Man Who Couldn’t Dance” were more serious in their content and allowed the actors involved to demonstrate a greater range of talent.
“Hal and Cathy” and “Misplaced Shoes and Other Confusions” were generally well-executed but felt strained. In both cases, a sense of reality got lost in the tangled webs of the relationships between the two characters.
Likewise, in “Anything for You” and “The Man Who Couldn’t Dance,” relationships were tense and distanced. But rather than convey this through overt, raw emotion, the acting was tight and controlled, muting the emotions and lending the drama a subtle, poignant grace. First-year Judy Feingold, who played Gail in “The Man Who Couldn’t Dance,” had a particularly noteworthy performance.
“Eight at 8,” despite its imperfections, was enjoyable and received great support from students; it sold out each night.