Laura Clark

Just three days before the opening of Masque and Triangle’s presentation of Deathtrap, the play’s acclaimed writer Ira Levin passed away. Levin is also the author of Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives, and Sliver, among others. But I didn’t know this walking into Ryan on Saturday the November 17. Seated near the door, which would eventually become a very active part of the set and the source of reportedly irrational fear on my own part, I settled in for another Colgate Student Theater performance.

The performance that proceeded was anything but routine or predictable. Senior director Jon Cornfield and his crew deserve much credit for their delivery of such an abundantly literary play, replete with self-referential humor and characters that are, if unbelievable, still subject to very human flaws.

First-year Cooper Sivara was so convincing as Sydney Bruhl that I had trouble believing he was a Colgate student. After Clifford Anderson, played by junior Xand Lourenco, surprised some of us in the audience with a violent re-entry after his supposed death (through said door which caused irrational fear), it was clear that twists and turns, rather than providing a climax for the plot, were becoming instead its most prominent theme.

This continued with the disclosure at the end of first act that Sydney and Clifford were in fact lovers, which was punctuated by one of the better on stage kisses Colgate has seen this season.

Deathtrap then brought metatheater to a new level of complexity as one of several plays within the play led to the death of both leading men. The venue, a small exquisite set in the close quarters of Ryan’s performance studio, rendered Deathtrap very exciting dinner theater; in a more formal atmosphere the intriguing writing may have garnered more of the respect it deserves.

For those students who were lucky enough to hear about Deathtrap and attend one of the performances, it was truly an entertaining treat and a welcome departure from the typical genres presented in college theater.