The Drama Lab

Students, as always, lined up to get into this past Friday’s Drama Labs that featured three short performances.

The productions this weekend, “Arsenic and Old Lace,” directed by Nick Camarda ’12, “The Best Daddy,” directed by Kim Sarro ‘13 and “English Made Simple,” directed by Casey Durant ’14, engaged the audience and left them laughing.

Arianna Chang ’13 said, “They were all really funny, and they didn’t follow the normal drama lab format of [boy meets girl]. They were all creative and different.”

The first drama lab of the night was a scene taken from the play “Arsenic and Old Lace” by playwright Joseph Kesselring.

The protagonist Mortimer, played by Ben Kroen ’14, learns in a hilarious twist that his Aunts Abby and Martha, played by Melanie Oliva ’14 and Kana Rolett ’13, are poisoning old men who come over for tea.

Despite the dark subject matter, however, the scene was kept light through the quick and playful exchange between Oliva and Rolett.

Camarda said, “This was my first time [directing]. I’ve been acting in a lot of drama labs and just decided this year that I’d direct, and […] I think it was fantastic. My actors did a really great job.”

Next came “The Best Daddy” by Shel Silverstein.

This drama lab centers around a mysterious present, which Lisa, played by Evie Elson ’15, is about to receive from her Dad, played by John French ’13.

The audience could not stop laughing as the identity of the present shifted from a dead pony, to Lisa’s sister, then finally to a motorcycle, as the Dad’s explanations became increasingly outrageous.

Elson said, “It was really fun once I got into it. It was a really great experience, and I love the satisfaction of the end.”

The night finished strong with “English Made Simple” by David Ives.

This drama lab explored the limits of polite conversation and the struggle of searching for love.

Jack and Jill, played by Ben Yi ’14 and Diana Avellaneda ’14, meet at a party and exchange a typical conversation. However, Chis Blackwood ’12 narrates what is really going on in the couple’s minds and brings the performance to life.

The act was entertaining and original, and Yi and Avellaneda adeptly tackled the serious issues discussed in this play without straying from the comedic side of the play supported by Blackwood.

“Chris Blackwood had a brilliant performance,” said Mark Meyer ’13.