DramaLab Previews: “The Individuality of Streetlamps” and “Slop Culture”

The Individuality of Street Lamps One of this week’s DramaLabs shares a theme with the popular song “I Will Survive.” This enlightening DramaLab deals with a couple’s breakup. It opens with Melissa (Eliana Kwalter ’10) sitting on her porch. Her ex-boyfriend, Andy (Julian Danziger ’11), approaches her and the two characters begin to exchange harsh banter, demonstrating how much the breakup has affected both parties. The audience later discovers that Andy has gotten married, while Melissa is still trying to come to terms with their breakup. Despite the marriage, however, it appears that Andy wants to rekindle his relationship with Melissa, as a fling or a permanent relationship. Melissa struggles to accept herself as she is and tries to own her individuality. In the end, she makes a decision that will dramatically change her relationship with her ex. Rei Konolige ’10 is the director of “The Individuality of Street Lamps,” and she is no beginner to directing. Konolige has directed four previous DramaLab and still loves the journey. She said, “I love the first read through of the play with the actors. It is interesting just to see how they react to it the first time. And of course, the night of the performance is the most exciting.” Despite being a veteran to the directing scene, she still is anxious about the opening tonight. “We haven’t had much rehearsal time so far, but my actors are really talented, and I know they will come through,” said Konolige. Although Konolige typically directs comedies, “The Individuality of Street Lamps” is a drama. Regardless of genre, Konolige said, “I just want [the audience] to have a great time!” Slop Culture The second DramaLab of the night has a very comical way of approaching serious issues. Danielle (Izzy Kratzer ’12) is a nervous woman applying for a job and seeking advice from her friend Cindy (Brenna Liponis, ’10). Danielle’s job application presents a difficult question concerning her identity and childhood. Though Danielle reaches an answer, she is convinced that it isn’t good enough. Her insecurities about her childhood are further revealed after asking her friends (Liponis, Adrian Stone, ’12 and Colton Dempsey ’12), for their opinions of her response. Dempsey and Stone play two “knuckleheads” who eavesdrop on Cindy and Danielle’s conversation, but later offer Danielle insightful advice in a way that is sure to make you laugh. Annie Li ’10 is the director of “Slop Culture,” which is her third production. One of her favorite parts about directing is the experimentation. “It is fun to see how the play will turn out. At the end of a rehearsal, it is also great to get the input from my actors,” she said. She continued, “For this play specifically, the cast and I have had lots of fun on set. I also feel like this play allows me to have more freedom when it comes to directing.” For Li, the characters in “Slop Culture” hit close to home. She said, “I feel like I have a personal connection with the main character. All the characters are relatable.” Li also cautions the audience not to get distracted by the Mr. Potato Head. Come see “Slop Culture” and find out what Li means. This DramaLab will keep a smile on your face the whole night.