“Black Box in the Borogoves” gives four plays for two audiences

Kaz Alvarez/Sun Star Reporter
Nov. 26, 2013

Brad Bishop performs Hamlet from Shakespeare's Hamlet. In this scene, he is crushed under the weight of own speech. Kaz Alvarez /Sun Star

Brad Bishop performs Hamlet from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In this scene, he is crushed under the weight of own speech. Kaz Alvarez/Sun Star

“Black Box in the Borogoves,” a series of four plays, is a new Student Drama Association production that has for this year taken the place of Winter Shorts to provide directing and acting experience to participants.

Like Winter Shorts, “Black Box in the Borogoves” is an entirely student run production featuring a series of one to two act plays.

“Black Box in the Borogoves” resulted from four drama students putting their heads together to find a way to provide new participants with experience in directing and acting. These stud

“We’re trying to set up Black Box and Winter Shorts so that participants can transition into acting and directing for Winter Shorts,” said Drama and Biology student Sambit Misra.

Three of the four plays were shown at the Pub Nov. 22, and all four were shown in the Lab Theatre located behind the Salisbury Theatre.

“Places” by Tom Moran poked fun at today’s idea of dating with one actor coming prepared with a script fully detailing the night’s events from awkward introductions to how the night would end. Misra directed the play. Shannon Monroe and Thalia Jacobs acted in the Lab Theatre showing, and Ethan Fifield and Amelia Cooper acted in the Pub showing.

“No Such Thing,” by Douglas Hill, a playwright from Las Vegas featured an exchange between ex-boyfriends regarding the submission of an article under a pseudonym. The actors worked through an argument that became more and more heated as one attempted to convince the writer of the article to submit his article under his own name and become a role model for young gay men thinking about coming out. Amelia Cooper directed Marley Horner and Dakota Moutoux through both showings of the play.

“It’s Not You” was written by Craig Pospicil. Only shown at the experimental lab, this play was about a subway breakup between four friends. With two of the four expecting a baby, a choice had to be made. A baby would require too much time to allow for two best friends, so the couple chose one friend over the other and “broke up” with the other. Melissa Buchta directed the play with actors Dustin Thurman, Katrina Kuharich, Nicole Cowans and Deison Rios.

Hamlet utilizes to crafty sock puppets to act out the conspiracy behind his father's death to Polonius and his uncle. Kaz Alvarez /Sun Star

Hamlet utilizes two crafty sock puppets to act out the conspiracy behind his father’s death to Polonius and his uncle. Kaz Alvarez/Sun Star

Finally, three actors managed to provide the audience with an authentic Shakespeare experience by delivering Hamlet in around ten minutes. The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s “The Compleat Wrks of WLLM SHKSPR” was directed by Marley Horner. First Year Experience Coordinator Brad Bishop played the role of Hamlet as Ethan Fitfield and Anna Stitt ran through the many other crucial characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

There were several struggles for the SDA students as they attempted to get this new series of short plays started. Many of the actors involved in the short plays were also participating in SDA’s productions of “Nickel and Dimed” and “Sylvia.”

“It’s really hard to get all of the people in the same place and at the same time, especially students,” Misra said.

In addition to obstacles with scheduling, the production had to be put together in the few open hours that the student participants had available within a month. “It was our first time doing this without as much planning,” Horner, a junior studying Drama said.

“It was a real learning experience for everyone,” Cowans, a junior Drama student said, “Next time will be bigger and better.”

The next “Box in the Borogoves” is expected to take place in the fall of 2015.

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