Students bring one-acts by David Ives to SBCC for enjoyable night
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Psychedelic kaleidoscope projections of bright blues, greens, purples and reds filled the otherwise darkly lit stage, as 90s music is played from the speakers. The intimate setting of the Jurkowitz Theatre at City College held a crowd mixed of students, elderly and everyone in between as the audience waited for the show to begin.
The fast paced and quirky performance, “Comedies by David Ives,” was directed by Maggie Mixsell, theater arts instructor and written by David Ives, famous American playwright, novelist and screenwriter. The performance and writing was enjoyable, and the academic references and absurd situations kept the brain working the entire time.
City College’s student showcase compiled several works from Ives’ well known and hefty collection of short plays. There were seven scenes total, each with vastly different premises that somehow managed to flow together quite well. The underlying messages in each connected to one another in humorous ways, testing the boundaries of language, love, time and space. The short scenes kept the play upbeat, interesting and entertaining.
The projections on the stationary three piece wall changed with each scene, taking the audience from a miniature golf course in “Foreplay: or the Art of the Fugue,” a butcher shop in “Dr. Fritz,” and a pond in “Time Flies.” The scene changes besides the projections were done by the actors in the show and slipped by in a seamless fashion.
Paisley ForsterSaunders, student-actor in the show, played Dawn in “Universal Language” and Kafka in “Words, Words, Words.” Her versatility from one role to the next was impressive; from a stuttering girl who learns a new language, to a chimp at a scientific facility. Her expressions were hilarious and she stood out among the other actors in the show.
Blake Benlan played her counterpart in “Universal Language,” as Don, and the two actors had great chemistry and impeccable timing. They were well rehearsed and opened the show on a strong note. Benlan also played Chuck II in “Foreplay: or the Art of the Fugue.”
Kendrick Surrell portrayed an interpreter in “Arabian Nights,” who ended up being more similar to a cupid than anything else. Surrell brought a bright energy to the show, which would have been nice to see more of.
The same goes for Johnny Waaler, who played Milton in “Words, Words, Words.” He had the stage presence that one just can’t put their finger on, and was intriguing to watch. Waaler was only in one scene, but there were more roles in the show that would have been a nice fit for him.
Lovisa Samuelsson was also talented and pleasant to watch. She played Dr. Fritz, the German butcher who thinks she is a doctor, and Alma, Chuck III’s date in “Foreplay: or the Art of the Fugue.”
Performances will be held 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, Nov. 9-19. There will also be showings at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, which will be live-captioned, and Saturday, Nov. 19.
Ticket cost is $18 for general admission, $15 seniors and $10 students. Because of the Jurkowitz Theatre’s small venue no late seating is permitted. Parking is free and near the theater on West Campus. Call the Garvin Theatre Box Office at (805) 965-5935, or purchase tickets online at www.theatregroupsbcc.com.