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Review: IB Play #3 – “The One in the Paper”

BY KYLE NOGUERA

After the people from “Written in Blood” left the stage, the stage is reset once more in the protection of the dark. After a few minutes, the lights dim even more, and then the spotlight bursts from the ceiling to a couple. Only this one is different: they’re sporting…clown noses? This is the first thing we see, in “The One in the Paper” written and directed by Nati Guillen. The story is, that the couple here are two clowns, who are with a trope of other clowns. They were featured in the local paper, but the paper called all the people in the trope horrible names, and made up “facts” about the clowns. As clowns decide what to do, Jenna * comes up with a plan, one that requires them to create their own paper. This paper would interview the clowns, and would be just and fair to everyone…or so they thought. In their struggle to build the paper up from a dream to a reality, Jenna begins twisting and manipulating the facts to make the stories more interesting.

The plot line is one of the best parts of this production. It feels unique and interesting, and the motif of the underdog rising above tyranny, only to become the tyrants themselves, was relatable to everyday life. The clowns are loveable, and the actors make each character feel unique. The director (Nati)  also made a few brave choices in the production that really added to the charm of the play. For example, the intermission was scheduled right smack in the middle of the play’s action. I had noticed this on the playbill and I was pretty skeptical about the efficacy of the intermission placement. However, the intermission was used to show the passage of time, with the other actors walking freely among the stage, all fulfilling specific jobs, such as the photographer taking pictures, and the editor in chief grumbling over work, steadily getting more and more angry. It was a great way for the play to emphasize the passing of time, and it really worked. Not only that, but the costume design was sellar. The clown costumes, while easily identifiable, never looked or felt cheap, or cliche. They all had a different style, and that really

The production was not without its flaws. There was one awkward scene where the actors sang a rendition of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” that was slightly marred due to the actors messing up their cues on the song. However, it was only a minor problem, and everything else beside that one scene went by smoothly. Overall, “The One in the Paper” was a very interesting and unique play. The characters felt alive, the plot was interesting, there was an emotional through-line as we watch the clowns slowly lose a sense of morality. In the end, the editor in chief sees the error of her ways, and they manage to pull off the paper, without relying on lies. The ending was a good way to cap off the action, and I could say that this was a play I’ll never quite forget.

Read all of the IB Play reviews

  1. Wanda’s Visit
  2. Written in Blood
  3. The One in the Paper
  4. MAD
  5. Labels
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Review: IB Play #2 – “Written in Blood”

BY KYLE NOGUERA

As the claps recede from the previous play, the curtains are drawn, and the lights dim. The curtains fly open again to reveal a single doctor standing in the blinding spotlight, as a police officer wheels in a stretcher with a recently deceased corpse on it, a cloth covering its features. They talk for awhile, and suddenly, a noise is heard emitting from the body. Slowly, inch by inch, they move toward the body, and without warning, it lunges onto the doctor, biting his arm until the cop pulls his gun and kills the nightmare. Unwittingly, the cop has to make a choice. With three bullets left, the cop is informed by the doctor that he will soon turn like that corpse had turned, right into a zombie, and the only course of action, is to shoot him, right then and there. With much debate, some pleading, and begging, the cop puts his gun to the doctor’s head, and pulls the trigger. BLAT BLAT BLAT. And so ends the first scene, of “Written in Blood”.

Written by Joseph Kim and directed by Michael Prior, “Written in Blood” is a thriller, centered around (you guessed it) zombies. The play is split into three scenes, each of a different group of people, as the zombie outbreak starts and spreads across the globe. The second scene includes a small group of travellers trying to find food in the forest, and as the need for survival increases, bickering ensues, leading to build-up of suspense and tension. The final scene features two girl (Hannah Griffis and Julia Kahn) who are trapped in a warehouse with mobs of zombies trying to break through the barriers, a hopeless situation that tests the girls’ spirit and friendship.

The scenes take on a very “Walking Dead” esque vibe, which works very well for the play. The characters are meant to draw you in for a moment, to make you wonder about what they are feeling, to be dramatic, and then make way for the next scene. It’s an interesting concept and I felt it worked out well. The only major complaint I had with the play was some technical difficulties with the sound effects. Once or twice in the first scene, the soundboard was timed poorly, so that way the sound of the gunshots were before the actor had time to cock and pull the trigger. However, this is a minor quarrel. The scenes are interesting, exciting, and draws you into the action.

Read all of the IB Play reviews

  1. Wanda’s Visit
  2. Written in Blood
  3. The One in the Paper
  4. MAD
  5. Labels
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Review: IB Play #1- “Wanda’s Visit”

BY KYLE NOGUERA

Picture this: you’re a man or woman, living with your spouse. You’ve been having relationship problems, but you’re doing an alright job of ignoring the situation, and so you both just keep trucking. That is, until your spouse’s ex stops by on a surprise visit. And the ex still loves your spouse dearly. Going so far as to make out with your lover right in front of you, and when you turn to that fiend, he/she bursts into tears and move on. That, is Wanda’s Visit. And it’s amazing.

As of March 11 of 2015, five out of the six IB Theatre Arts plays have been released, with one being scheduled to open on a later date. Today I will be talking about the first play that was scheduled on their opening night, “Wanda’s Visit”, written by Christopher Durang and directed by Emily Griffin. Bennett Sippel and Mackenzie Badick are Jim and Marsha, a married couple that are having trouble connecting with each other. That is, until they meet Wanda. The entire play is a look back on the the very strange visit they were forced to endure from Wanda (played by Julia Kahn), an old girlfriend of Jim’s that is still hopelessly in love with him (much to Marsha’s dismay). Wanda overstays her welcome, forcing Jim and Marsha to question their love for each other, and what it truly means to be together.

The acting in “Wanda’s Visit” was phenomenal. The awkwardness between McKenzie and Bennett felt real, and Julia’s crazy nature plays a great juxtaposition to the dull couple. The characters become alive; you feel their awkwardness, their anxiety, their annoyance. The dialogue feels spontaneous, and interesting, and balances the relatively simple and easy-going plot. The play was comedic, yet serious, and was a wonderful balance of the two. “Wanda’s Visit” was a solid production, and a great start to the night.

Read all of the IB Play reviews

  1. Wanda’s Visit
  2. Written in Blood
  3. The One in the Paper
  4. MAD
  5. Labels
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Sweet Sixteen Preview: West

BY SEAN CULWELL

Wisconsin

Wisconsin is an experienced team which looks to ride bigman Frank Kaminsky all the way to the finals. The offense led by Kaminsky is the number one ranked offense in the nation in efficiency. The BIG 10 regular season and tournament champs are a one seed in a tough bracket with arguably the strongest teams remaining to challenge them for a trip to the final four.

North Carolina

Possibly the most confusing team left in the tournament the tar heels have an up and down season. Starting the year near the top of the rankings at one point falling off and being in danger of not being in the top 25 it looked as if the tar heels were back, until they almost lost a game to harvard in the second round. With a better performance against arkansas the sizable tar heels team will look to slowdown the inside offense of Wisconsin and keep the on the perimeter which will be difficult with the defensive struggling of JP tokoto of late.

Xavier

This team possesses possibly the most famous uber driver in the country right now with Matt Stainbrook. The versatile big man for the musketeers is the backbone of the team providing interior offense and passing out of the post. The team has looked good so far in the tournament and will look to continue that against Arizona. With the size Arizona provides inside the Musketeers will look to use Stainbrook as an inside out facilitator and play maker out of the post.

Arizona

They have talent room top to bottom with their point guard T.J McConnel, big man Kaleb Tarczewski and freshman Stanley Johnson. Like many other top teams left in the tournament their weakness is obvious and it is their outside shooting. If their pure shooter York is having an off game that could spell disaster for the wildcats. their size and stout defense is their calling card with questionable scoring with inconsistencies all around he court offensively relying on good nights from each player in their shallow rotation on different nights.

 

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Sweet Sixteen Preview: East

BY SEAN CULWELL

N.C State

After their big upset against number one seed Villanova behind solid play throughout their lineup ranging from big man Abu to possibly the fastest guard with the ball in the entire nation “Cat” Barber. They will be playing against a strong defensive team in Louisville who puts pressure on the opposing offense in many different ways. They vary their defense so the play of the opposing point guard in deciphering the tricky puzzle that is the Louisville defense is vital to any teams success.

Louisville

With an overall disappointing regular season Rick Pitino’s team looks to make up for it in March. Their presence inside with preseason All- AMerican Montrezl Harrell is the key to the Louisville offense and when he struggles so do the. The team agains has great perimeter defense with its guards and Pitino is hoping to get more than good defense from those guards if he wants to make it deep in March.

Oklahoma

With both top seeds out in the East region Oklahoma is now the highest seed left. Don’t let the seedings fool you Michigan St. is a strong team and Oklahoma knows that. They will prepare for this game as if it were their last. With a strong backcourt including Isaiah Cousins and Buddy Hield the sooners will look to slow down trice and force him to work overtime on defense. I am intrigued by this team and will look forward to this sweet sixteen matchup.

Michigan St.

Tom Izzo’s squads always seem to peak in March and make a run deep into the Tournament. This team has surpassed his expectations already and they look to be playing loose with little in the ways of nerves throwing off their game. Travis Trice their Star from the 3rd round victory over Virginia seems to have the composure in the spotlight and even looked for it throughout that game. His offensive ability effecting the rest of the team and making it easier for them combined with their stout defense which held Virginia under 30% shooting create a strong looking team that no one wants to see in March.