Spring Showcase shows brilliance of students, new season brings fresh talent

The Performing Arts Office often host events to expose the diverse talents of Suffolk’s students, whether they are musicians, dancers, or actors. One of these is the annual Spring Showcase which featured four original, one-act shows, written, directed, and performed entirely by Suffolk students.

This year’s performances explored different scenarios and characters, from comedic murder to dynamic literary adoptions, shown in the intimate black box setting of the Donahue studio theatre. The Showcase opened with “Hum’s Girls,” written and directed by student Ingrid Oslund.

The piece was an adoption of Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Lolita and opens with a dark Lana Del Rey ballad, exhibiting a somber mood throughout the room. The characters complicated relationships quickly develop and the plot had clearly captivated the attention of the room with its scandalous nature; the story of an older man who finds beauty in preteen-age girls.

The next act, For Every Reason, Rhythm, and Rhyme, offered light comedy to brighten the mood after the previous performance. The piece was written and directed by Marina Silva, and examines characters who frequent a local coffee shop. The strong personalities of the characters, such as 12-year-old girl and a successful business man, are easily relatable to people we may potentially meet in our  daily lives.

Although there was humor, there are also serious, realistic undertones in the conversations. The barista often references her drinking habit while the business man ponders if he has enough love and vibrancy in his life while continually asking for a cup of black coffee, only to end up asking for cream each time.

Another literary adoption is presented in the third act, “Hamlet Submerged” by Robert Rejek and directed by Andrew Pinto. The act begins with the opening scene of “Hamlet,” yet quickly differentiates itself from the original play when the characters face sudden obstacles as their paper lives are being destroyed by rising waters.

The act examines different angles of a timeless story by jumping to different scenes as well as literal parts of the book such as the cover page or the binding. The use of a singular roll of paper, cascading from the ceiling to the floor allowed the actors to create the illusion that they were truly engulfed in the quickly sinking pages of the story.

The final performance was “Playing Dead.” Written by Tom Martin and directed by Laurie Riihimaki, the act ended the showcase on a highly comical note, playing out the antics of two teenagers left alone with a dead body. As the scene progresses, more and more characters enter to pose more laughable obstacles for the two teens, while incorporating Ke$ha’s pop tunes and frequent Mythbusters references.

The scene ends with a literal explosion as the two main characters discover their initial assumptions regarding a “suspicious package” were correct all along. The showcase overall affected not only those who attended, but also the writers and actors.

“It was so interesting to see the general growth during the process, of the script, the actors, scale, and focus. It has reminded me that every moment on stage was deliberate in every show that I see,” said director and senior Andrew Pinto.