DramaLabs Get Emotional for the Last Time

Confusion, tension, love and laughter flooded the Theater Classroom last Friday during the last two DramaLabs of the year and The Steves Awards that followed. Serving as a grand finale to this year’s DramaLabs program, the two plays primarily highlighted the theme of love and conflict. “Mixed Emotions,” directed by Mike Garai ’13, opened the night and featured mayhem perfectly fitting with the title. While tension unfolded, secrets, affairs and love triangles all became clear between the six characters, in particular, a quintessential love conflict between Ed (James Garth ’13) and Lex (Elizabeth Oppong ’12). Another character, Mike (Omegar Zacarias ’12), defined the play with his awkward and over-enthusiastic interruptions during Oppong and Garth’s confrontations. “Zacarias’s character was so expressive, and he really does that very well. Oppong was very into her character and I really believed her,” said Adam Brody ’14. Following that dramatic scene was an even tenser play, “Linda Her,” directed by Taylor Perkins ’12. Set in a family’s vacation cottage, the play focused on the mysterious and unpleasant character, Carol (Georgia Pelletier ’11), and her conflicts with husband Matt (David Tyllinski ’12), daughter Hilary (Malka Berro ’14) and friend Janet (Yerin Pak ’11). Peculiar and distressing characters like Hilary and the use of robotic speech had the audience on edge. “[The actors] really showed their emotions, you could hear it in their voices, the way they spoke, the way they moved their bodies, but overall I was generally confused about what was going on,” said Josselyn de Leon ’13. “But I felt like that was kind of the point. The audience feels that way because the actors or their parts feel that way. [The characters] just don’t know what’s going on.” “You always want things to end on a happy enthusiastic note, but both of the DramaLabs were a bit like relationships gone wrong, and didn’t really have that hopeful of an ending because they were a bit of a tragedy, but artistically speaking I was very happy that those were the last two shows that we had,” said Joanna Wang ’11, DramaLab Producer. After two serious and intense DramaLabs came the more lighthearted and festive award presentation, The Steves. During The Steves, students were presented with awards in a multitude of categories, ranging from traditional awards like Best Director to more comical awards like Best Freak Out, awarded this year to Wang. This year, Mary Polk-Bauman ’11 received the prestigious Hallowell Award. In between the presentation of awards, the producers-in-training, Miranda Haymon ’12, Eliana Kwartler ’12, Taylor Perkins ’12 and Andrew Schlager ’12 performed comical skits. Many of their skits mocked elements of the Department of Theater and Dance, like their parody of the three Theater 520 productions this year titled, “Hot Black Julius Caesar.” Another skit that had the audience in continuous laughter featured impersonations of four faculty members from the department of Theater and Dance. Different genres of music, reflecting each faculty member’s personality, introduced the exaggerated yet hysterical parodies of Bruce Bacon, Mark Efinger, Kevin Heelan and Erin Strong. “[Haymon, Kwartler, Perkins and Schlager] were all amazing actors and they were spot on with their impersonations. It was a great night and I’m really excited for the new producers,” said Casey Durant ’14. The Steves not only commemorated student achievement and talent in theater but also presented an opportunity to say good-bye to graduating producers Polk-Bauman, Patrick Brady ’11 and Wang. The new producers, toting cardboard houses, presented Build-a-Bear teddy bears to Bauman, Brady and Wang, thanking them for their lessons, help and for simply being their friends. Schlager said to Brady during the Steves, “Patrick taught me more than I can express and I’m afraid to be at school without him next year.” “I thought that the sentimental section of the show was touching, it was really good to see a different side of the producers, apart from just the funny aspect of them,” said Durant. “[The Steves] are a way to congratulate people and a way to recognize everything that has gone on this year… [It’s] just a way to wrap up the year in a fun way,” said Haymon. An overflowing mass of emotions engulfed audience members during the DramaLabs and The Steves. Both dramatic and hilarious, the night showcased all spectrums of talent the Department of Theater and Dance has to offer, providing a fulfilling end to this year’s DramaLabs.