Annual spring showcase features four student plays

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Dan Olson  Journal Staff

Twice a year, theater students at Suffolk University are able to express their abilities in writing and directing short plays during the annual fall and spring showcases.  This year’s Spring Showcase featured the talents of many student directors and performers in four short plays: Bathroom, Hydrangea, The Mother, and Four Strong Winds, all performed at Suffolk’s Studio Theatre from February 16 to 19.


“Overall, the Spring Showcase was very well done this year,” said Leslie Steeves, a member of the show’s Production Staff.  “It was very well directed with appropriate and ideal lighting and sound too, which was showcased by the different directing styles. They went out of the box with this.”


Steeves designed the costumes for the play Hydrangea, written by Deirdre McAllister and directed by Zach Zatet.


“Since the play was very dark in nature with the exception of one character [Mother Earth played by Vindhya Fernando], I didn’t want them to be very light because there really wasn’t a lot of light in their lives,” said Steeves.  “But, I really have to say the idea for the wedding dress itself on Mother Earth was really [the director’s] idea.”


Hydrangea revolved around a character Lorrie (Paige Monopoli) who is coping with the harsh reality that her mother, Lily (Mariah Munroe), killed her father, Charlie (Ted Harris).  Lorrie finds confidence in Mother Earth (Vindhya Fernando) as a family friend, Estelle (Allie Barone) is left to uncover the truth.


One other play that strongly stood out during the entire performance, The Mother, written by Mark Ravenhill and directed by Jessica Miller, has a very simple plot and few characters but a very heavy message.  Two soldiers (Brian Bernhard, Allie Barone) arrive at a house in Germany to tell a woman, Haley Morrison (Kelly Conrad) that her son had just died in combat.  For the entire half hour this piece lasts, the two soldiers attempt to tell Mrs. Morrison of her son’s passing, yet she, in denial, tries desperately to change the subject.  The audience is well aware of the news that is yet to be said, and must watch the woman slowly come to terms with reality and accept her son’s death.


While all four plays were truly remarkably directed, written and performed, it seemed that the other two, Bathroom, written and directed by Ryan Baker, and Four Strong Winds, written and directed by Bryan Pytka, were slightly overshadowed by the true brilliance of  Hydrangea and The Mother.


Some notable acting performances included Devin Scott as Crystal/Amy and Raphael Roy as Troy/Conner in Bathroom, as well as Paige Monopoli as Lorrie and Vindhya Fernando as Mother Earth in Hydrangea. Kelly Conrad as Haley Morrison in The Mother; Ted Harris as Tom Shug, and Alex Pappas as Dan Popka in Four Strong Winds also stood out.