November 26, 2022

One-Act Weekend
From possible rat gangs to an imagined highway that runs in all directions, to say I was confused after leaving the one-act plays last week would be an understatement, but apparently that is just what the directors wanted.
“It’s a very confusing show,” joked Bobby Reynolds, who directed “Rats” by Isarel Horovitz.  “It’s very thought provoking; it leaves everyone taking away different aspects of the show.”
While I was unsure that I was following the plot during the play, everything came together in my mind afterward and, like Reynolds said, I left with an image of the show that is probably different than someone else’s.
The play opens with an argument between two rats: one wants to be “let in” and the other seems to be in control of the situation.  However, these roles flip at the play goes on with the introduction of Baby, played by Walter Bockert.
It seems the dominant Rat, Jebbie, played by Britta Carson, has a sweet side, shown when the character takes care of Baby.  Bobby, played by Caroline Stechison, takes advantage of that and turns the tables on Jebbie.  In the end though, due to what Reynolds calls a “dog-eat-dog world,” Bobby ends up dead.
While I was unsure of where the plot was going at times, I thought the actors performed their roles very well; they contributed to the confusion and chaos of the show, while still moving the play forward smoothly.
“The Case of the Crushed Petunias” by Tennessee Williams was also a very thought-provoking play, that ended with more of a positive message than “Rats.”
In fact, Hannah Yalaz, who directed the play, picked the play because of its “really good message: go look for adventure and live your life to the fullest rather than just staying in your little shop,” she said. “And who doesn’t like Tennessee Williams?” she joked.
Jake Ulmer plays a salesman for LIFE Inc., who ultimately convinces a hesitant, but willing Miss Simple, played by Amanda Rogus, to leave her boring shop and experience all that life has to offer.
Miss Simple is very set on everything prim and proper, but once she realizes that there is a whole world outside of her shop, she excitedly leaves for a mysterious highway that may or may not exist outside of her mind.
While “The Case of the Crushed Petunias” has a very different message than “Rats,” both were very well acted and thought inducing.  I believe that after you leave a good play or movie, you should think differently afterwards and as I drove home from the theater, lines and images from the plays would pop back into my mind throughout the night.

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