A Corporate Corporation
This past weekend in the New Student Theatre, Wittenberg senior Carl Burgason premiered his new play “A Corporate Corporation.” The play, written and directed by Burgason, takes the audience on a interesting and humorous journey following the connections and emotions of three co-workers working under the thumb of society, debt and a national corporate company.
Burgason’s use of sardonic speech, sarcastic tones and profanity in this workplace comedy put a spotlight on what life is actually like after college, and how it is to be a twenty-something adult in today’s society.
In order of appearance the cast included: Annie Page ’16, Collin Sparks ’18, Morgan Beechey ’18, Johnathon Jacobsen ’19, Madeline Dominique ’19, John Kolberg ’18, Garrett Stout ’18, Kalen O’Daniel ’19, and Hannah Hobby ’19.
The play opened up to a minimalistic set: a single long white table, two black metal chairs and a mini fridge. Autumn, played by Page, is a struggling college graduate starting her first day at Wellsworth clothing store. Along with Autumn comes J.L. the manager, played by Sparks — he explains the ways of the break room just before the beginning of her lunch with the head of CorpoCorp, Tom, played by Beechey, to discuss her GSR position (glorified cashier title). Mid-meeting, Autumn receives a call from her mother, or I suppose I should say calls, plural. This scene touches on the biggest struggle as a fresh out of college adult: how exactly do I get experience if even the lowest jobs in my field require experience?
As the break room is shared with the other workers in CorpoCorp, next to hit the stage are two distressed workers from The Hot Spot. Server Kim, played by Dominque, and Host Fitz, played by Jacobsen, come in ranting about tables and tips. Fitz spends a good amount of time complaining about his job, and just before he and Kim returned to their posts, he sparks quite a conversation with Autumn about Marxism.
After lunch, Autumn is introduced to long-time Wellsworth employee Darren, played by Kolberg, who trains her on the register and shows her the ropes. After work, Autumn headed to The Hot Spot (“The Hottest Spot in Town”). With no one at the Host stand, Barry, Hot Spot manager played by Stout, welcomed Autumn the restaurant and yelled for Fitz.
As the play progressed, while the connection between the three co-workers continued and conspiracy plans developed, secrets and leverage that they seemed to have revealed to be “secrets” to very few, illuminating the corruption within the company, any company.
Burgason’s play was a hilarious take on what he was aiming for, “what a workplace comedy for our generation would be, and because I’m a bit cynical — I thought it would be funny if it was a bunch of people working in malls, despite having degrees.”
As a Theatre and English double major recounting on the years, Burgason feels there have been many influential people at Wittenberg who have assisted in his growth as an actor, and person. He feels the two who really helped shape this production would be Patrick Reynolds, who was his playwriting professor, and Jason Podplesky, who was his directing professor, and who also taught him a loads just through directing Burgason in his plays.
When asked his favorite part of the whole writing and directing process, he stated that opening night and actually getting a real audience. It was more than he had even hoped for: “Directing is funny in that — no matter how clearly you see it in your head — the nature of working with so many different artists means that every single detail is up for reinterpretation.”
Burgason’s production was surely a hit; he and the cast delighted the audience with realistic and eccentric characters that expressed questions that are on all of our minds.