Arts & Life Editor
The opening act was like having déjà vu. Two rows of black chairs, a pair of girls and a young man dressed suspiciously similar to Dr. Weinberg. In a few moments, the members of Denison Independent Theatre Association even returned to the stage, delivering the very same speech that they had given only minutes before. The One Act titled, “The One Acts,” was a hilarious hit that reminded everyone why they’d come, perfectly setting the scene for what was to be a hilarious compilation of everything from simple coffee shop scenes and rainy days to cat wars and photosynthetic diets.
The first act combined all the fun of DITA’s One Acts while incorporating the audience’s point of view. Mallory McGill ‘18 and Peter Malicky ‘18 stole the show, playing Bean and Dr. Weinberg, respectively. Malicky entered confusedly and sat down away from the other actors, but was soon recognized. Andrew Read-Mcfarland ’17, who played Alex, shook his hand and made a reference to trying to get away from Shorney.
“Is there a problem with one of Denison’s residence halls?” Malicky asked obliviously.
Read-Mcfarland tried to get Malicky to understand, saying Shorney has a bit of a reputation that had to do with the campus hook-up culture, but he still didn’t get it.
“It rhymes with Shorney…” Read-Mcfarland offered, but the best Malicky could come up with was “thorny” and “corny,” not the word “horny” that Read-Mcfarland was implying.
The Weinberg excitement continued when McGill excitedly hopped over a row of chairs, introduced herself and cuddled up next to him, much to Malicky’s dismay.
“The One Acts” play even captured the confusion sometimes brought on during the show. Molly, played by Hunter Janness ’17, leaned over and whispered to her friend, “I don’t get it!” when the couple in the fictional One Act began kissing passionately.
Similarly, there were times when the spring One Acts were a bit confusing – in “Pie and Wine Night,” for example, when Britney, played by Allie Vugrincic ‘17, hit Jessica’s (Reilly Harring ’19) boyfriend over the head, shouting, “Stranger danger!” Perhaps it wasn’t enough that Harring had already said multiple times that the man entering was her boyfriend, Chad, played by Boone Wilde ’19. There were a few inconsistencies there.
To their credit, though, Harring’s frantic behavior and wine-gulping had the audience laughing several times during the course of the performance.
Still, the One Acts had its usual share of hilarious performances. A favorite of the spring One Acts was “The Coffee Shop Play,” a story about a woman who used time travel to try to correct a poor reunion with someone she had known in college. Though Dr. Craig (Natalie Kindler ’17) kept trying to fix the situation, she only made it worse each time, and then had to battle with all of the versions of herself that were still there. In one bit, Kindler ran wildly onstage and pushed aside an older version of herself who was about to go talk to the man and ruin everything. All four versions of herself were then pitted against each other, insulting one another, much to the amazement of Nick, the guy she reunited with, played by Seth Schoenhaus ’18.
“The Less You Know” also had the audience laughing. “The Less You Know” satirized the diet crazes of today as four different actors ran onto stage to make McLane Sellars ’16 change his order at a restaurant. When the final actress, Maggie Chamberlain ’19, appeared from under the table to campaign for a photosynthetic diet, the audience erupted in laughter. Clad in a dirty white t-shirt with paw prints scattered across it and green pants, Chamberlain looked like a crazy bum who’d watched too many wilderness shows. Using elaborate gestures and shouting like an insane person, Chamberlain kept everyone on their toes, waiting for the next punchline.
The One Acts, though with its inevitable pitfalls in which lines didn’t quite reach their intended humor, were an overall success, drawing on all the traditions which make them such a success. “I really liked all the Denison jokes,” Alana Murrey ’16 said, as many of the One Acts used their typical inside jokes that only Denison students could really appreciate (references to Dr. Weinberg and Bon Appetit’s Cantina were especially humorous). When the last performance “Inani-Mate” finished with a series of puns and one-liners referring to dating clichés, the audience was left satisfied with yet another round of DITA One Acts.
Photo courtesy of Allie Vugrincic