Problems on Park Avenue:

Three teenage girls and an empty Park Avenue apartment – what do you think will happen? La Nuit Des Femmes Folles (The Night of Crazy Women), a play written by Lily Kelting ’04, lived up to its name last Sunday night in the theatre classroom. Three crazy women, Emma Dorsey’06, Chloé Hurley’05, and Caroline Claflin’05, ruled the stage with their energy and general theatrical skill. Though it was a completely student produced play (including the authorship,) La Nuit still maintained a professional touch – the result of the skillful and experienced cast, all of whom seemed to fall easily into their roles (although it is not really a stretch for teenage girls to play, well, teenage girls.) Yet, Dorsey, Hurley, and Claflin were able to bring out individual personality traits in each of their characters which made the three girls very different from one another. This intimate cast allowed the audience to delve deeply into the psyche of each character; the fact that the girls shared the stage equally and were present onstage for the entire production contributed as well. La Nuit is the story of three girls, who, after being apart for the year, meet at the Park Avenue Apartment of Beth, who was played by Claflin. At the beginning of their reunion, the three old friends are awkward and uncomfortable; it is apparent that they have grown apart. Beth is the most reserved and sheltered girl. She is sweet-natured, but is basically a wealthy adolescent that has been spoiled since early childhood. Her wealth is one of the main causes of tension within the show Though Claflin is obviously a skilled actress, the character Beth was both clichéd and predictable; it was difficult to transcend the flakiness of the character to focus on Claflin’s devotion to the role. Emma Dorsey’06 plays Portia, the quietest and most intellectual of the three who comes to the reunion after a year at Andover. Dorsey did an excellent job portraying both Portia’s intelligence and her insecurities. Portia is a dynamic and confused character, and Dorsey’s handle on her was impressive. Sophia, played by Hurley, rounds out the group as the wild party-girl type who has just returned from SYA in France. She drinks, speaks fluent French, and swears at her father on the phone; she is cruder than the other girls, but these flaws make her the most accessible character from the audience’s perspective. Hurley had a good grasp on the character and played Sophia as a bubbly teen whose funny quips and one-liners kept the audience interested. Though the actors had only two weeks to prepare and props and costumes were self-supplied, the simplicity that resulted from the rush to pull together La Nuit increased the focus on the actors. However, added focus on the girls was sometimes a problem, because the actors did not memorize their lines and toted scripts around the stage. Though not usually noticeable, the presence of scripts did sometimes deter from the performance. Still, Director Ginia Sweeney ’06 had only nice things to say about her cast: “the actors are all wonderful and each is perfect for her part. The cast and crew get along fantastically — the rehearsal process has been a lot of fun.”