What’s more difficult than putting together a play with full cast and crew without a hitch? Doing some of that play in reverse order.
The Bridgewater State Theater Company was able to do just that. Beginning Feb. 24 in the RCC Auditorium, Bridgewater State Theater held its BAM! Student Theater Festival 2016, during which two different plays were performed. Slasrever Neves, by Alan Haehnel, and Closer, by Patrick Marber, each had three different performances during the week of the Theater Festival.
Slasrever Neves, which was performed on Feb. 25, 27, and 28, consisted of seven different skits, all with their own unique twists.
The title of the show says it all; if you reverse Slasrever Neves, it becomes Seven Reversals. Villains became victims, the actors became part of the audience, and roles were reversed, quite literally.
This comedy performance was certainly bursting with humor, and each skit fit together with the others. Satirical writing, unique technical elements, and the actors swapping roles all made each skit hilarious in its own way.
The audience also was able to sit on the stage during the performance, which allowed for the audience to feel like they were part of the show.
Not only were the actors jumping back and forth between different parts and roles, but so was the tech crew. Each skit had different props, lights, sounds, and sets, meaning that the tech crew was working hard to make sure the technical elements fit each skit
For some skits, the technical elements were very prominent; for example, in one skit, which was a conversation between three women, the lights would purposefully shine on a different part of the stage, or on one of the women who weren’t speaking at the time.
Slasrever Neves “took a lot of dedication from the cast and extreme detail by the director who blocked the scenes,” said Angela Harrington, stage manager for Slasrever Neves.
As stage manager, Harrington was in charge of many of the technical aspects of the show, and making sure the scene changes happened without a hitch.
“The hardest part about putting this together would be the difficulty of the blocking of Scenes 1,4, and 7 which is the same scene, in reverse order. This scene was extremely choreographed, down to every movement and every syllable and inflection. We had to make sure that each of these scenes were identical,” said Harrington about the difficulties of this play.
The different roles and parts were played by seven different student actors; Dylan Crowley, Alyssa Germaine, Emily Leahy, Catherine Macallister, Thomas McCoy, Rebecca Phalen, and Thomas White.
Each actor played two or three different parts, and when a scene was repeated, the same character was often played by a different actor or actress. It was obvious that each actor or actress knew their part well, and they were easily able to make the transition between skits.
“This production was an awesome process because we were able to work with our peers in a creative way. Rehearsals were a learning experience for all parties involved, and I feel that we all learned how to delegate and create a production while only dealing with our peers and advisors.” said Harrington about the cast, crew, and production team.
Last year, BAM! Student Theater Festival 2015 also included two plays: Shel’s Shorts and Gruesome Playground Injuries, according to the Bridgewater State Arts Department website. Coming in April, BSU Theater will be doing An Awfully Big Adventure, a version of the classic Peter Pan story. Shows will be running between April 21st and April 30th. Tickets can be purchased at http://bsuadventure16.brownpapertickets.com
Samantha Correia is a staff writer for The Comment.