Beginning this Thursday, students can see three plays by critically acclaimed playwrights in about two hours and won’t have to leave campus.
The Marinello Little Theater will play host to “A Dead Man’s Apartment” by Edward Allan Baker, “Hotline,” by Elaine May and “Dinner With Mother,” by JCU communication and theatre arts professor Robert Noll.
The plays confront important issues and tell unique stories all in a single act.
Although the plays are short, averaging 20 to 40 minutes each, their stories do not lack in plot substance or character complexity.
Noll, who teaches several writing courses at JCU, including playwriting, said that the short length can be a good thing.
“With so little running time, you immediately get into the plot and action. There’s no time wasted. That makes ideal viewing for audiences accustom to watching stories unfold on TV in 22 minutes,” he said.
Noll’s play “Dinner With Mother” reveals the complicated relationship between a woman and her mother. College-age play goers will be able to relate to Adriana as she struggles with a desire to please her judgmental mother while remaining true to herself.
“Dinner With Mother” has had two well-received productions in New York over the years, and Noll said he’s now enjoying perfecting the show with student-director Ali Karolczak and the play’s three talented actors. He intends to get the play published after its John Carroll production.
Senior Taylor Nagy is the student-director of “A Dead Man’s Apartment.” The play was originally produced and performed at a festival in San Francisco in 1995 and in New York City the same year.
It tells the story of Lonnie, a truck driver, and Nickie, his mistress, as they navigate through the inevitable difficulties of their affair.
“Hotline,” directed by Brian Devers, illustrates a sticky situation with a dash of humor. The play’s main character frequently calls a suicide crisis hotline, only to be continuously frustrated by the incompetence of her counselor.
Devers said that he believes students will enjoy the production.
“Live theatre is a break from the usual television and movies students see,” he said. “Being able to see something that is right in front of you, being affected by it and being able to touch it is different than the usual entertainment experience.”
What the one-acts lack in length, they make up for in humor, realism and satire. Each act features complex characters with stories that are worth listening to, if only for 30 minutes.
The Marinello Little Theater will feature these shows Nov. 11, 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door, and can be purchased by calling (216)-397-4191.