Theater department and Student Drama Association put on annual Winter Shorts show

Brix Hahn/Sun Star Reporter
October 23, 2012

“Medusa’s Tale” by Carol Lashof and directed by Paul Rios. Photo courtesty of Kade Mendelowitz, Theatre UAF.

Every fall the Student Drama Association and the Theater Department host a series of short plays that are directed by UAF students. This year’s Winter Shorts were “Meduas’s Tale,” by Carol Lashof and “The Veldt,” by Ray Bradbury.

Codi Burk, a junior theater student and president of SDA is involved with the department and the Winter Shorts production process.

“It’s student directed, produced, and designed—the whole nine yards. We have advisors to make sure we don’t do anything retarded, other than that it’s all us,” Burk said.

The Theatre Department sponsors the productions, and this year the plays were allocated approximately $2,000. The money covers set production, costumes and program printing.

“We have a pretty good amount of money in the bank,” Burk said.

“Medusa’s Tale,” was written by Carol Lashof and directed by Paul Ríos. The 45-minute production about the death of the mythological Greek character Medusa, played by Erlee Hjellen.

Athena, played by Daniels Calvin, and Poseidon, played by Shawn Kelly, portrayed their characters in a melodramatic manner.

“I thought it was uncharacteristic of Athena,” said Matthew Smith, a UAF student. “Athena is the goddess of wisdom and justice and from reading Greek mythology she doesn’t act like that. So that was unsettling to see.”

In this production Medusa and Perseus shared a small bond of lust, which is a less traditional approach to the tale.

“It wasn’t very convincing,” Smith added. “I thought Medusa did a pretty good job of delivering that relationship, but Perseus wasn’t reciprocating. I couldn’t see what the playwright was trying to say because of the acting.”

The second short, “The Veldt,” ran 35 minutes and surrounded a futuristic family and their new holographic children’s playroom.

“What’s so amazing about it, is that Bradbury wrote this so long ago and he’s almost predicted us,” Siri Tubble said. “The holographic room is a metaphor for all the things we play with all the time that suck our souls into little their little screens.”

The world in which the character of “The Veldt” live is that of a sterile and technology driven society. The parents are absent from their children’s lives because of work and the fact that there is no need for parents to raise their own children—there are machines and robots to do that for them.

Playwright Carey Seward added, “I guess it’s Ray Bradburry’s comment on the industrialization of modern society and how we should spent more time with our children.”

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