Not Your Average One Night Stand

 

 

Tory Glerum

Amid the dim lighting, strewn-about furniture and casual yet lively Saturday night atmosphere of the Creative Arts House basement, a group of students got up with scripts and minimal props to show off their theatrical talent in a series of five short comic plays. Within minutes of the first scene, the audience was chuckling, and as the actors continued to trade random anecdotes, pick-up lines and sexual innuendoes resonant with the outlandish plots of the plays, the laughter transgressed into hysterics accompanied by raucous applause and cheers.

Whether they were sitting, standing, acting or viewing, members of the cast and audience were taken on the wild ride of Student Theatre’s production of “One Night Stands Straps It On.”

The performance kicked off at 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 24. The five plays performed were very different in plot, but, according to sophomore Dan Laurence, Student Theatre’s acting chair and organizer of “ONS Straps It On,” they had been specifically picked for their comedic content and common romantic theme.

The first play, entitled “Today’s Specials,” depicted a couple sitting at a restaurant while on an awkward first date. Their conversation, infused with sexual innuendos and movements, was constantly interrupted by a flamboyant waiter dressed in a sparkly silver vest. Dysfunctional and quirky, these characters showed the audience a date that might be unfortunate to have, but was certainly entertaining to watch.

The second play involved a telephone conversation between a distraught woman who had called a crisis hotline and the female emergency assistant on the other end. The caller’s crisis was apparently not that urgent as the only advice she obtained concerned her love life, and the two characters amused the audience as they went on random tangents about careers, the arts, the food chain, which gave the play its title, and of course, men and sex.

The play immediately following, entitled “The Coors Lights,” switched genders but not subject matter as it displayed three men drinking and coming up with theories about women’s psychology with regards to alcoholic preferences and romantic gestures. One particular quote comparing the “big calves” of a certain female to those of Senator Hillary Clinton was especially effective in piquing the viewers’ senses of humor.

The hilarity of the fourth play, entitled “Cindy and Julie,” was contained in its blatant yet incredibly creative cynicism as it showed what “really” happened to Juliet Montague from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and Cinderella Charming from the fairytale Cinderella. “Julie” did not, in fact, commit suicide, nor did “Cindy” live happily ever after, and the two characters told very different and somewhat less romantic versions of their famous stories while sitting in costume outside a therapist’s office. The play ended with the timely entrance of Lady Macbeth.

Last but certainly not least, “Poetry Prizes,” involved a mysterious hooded poet who was congratulated by an English teacher for winning the poetry grand prize. As the two discussed the award-winning poem, the hysterically bizarre and flagrantly sexual images described kept the hilarity level at a maximum. It was certainly an added plus to find out that the poet was a fifteen-year-old boy, and the lights went out for the final time amid side-splitting laughter as the character of the English teacher began to recite an equally creepy poem of his own.

Just as they had done in their other four plays, the actors in “ONS Straps It On” used their body language and voice intonations to demonstrate impressive theatrical skills and an unfaltering ability to make the audience roar with laughter.

Laurence said that the theme of sex and relationships characterizes all the ONS performances, which take place several times throughout the year after recruiting participants off the Student Theatre mailing list.

He also commented that ONS is very casual and easy-going.

“It gives students not cast in other theatre productions a chance to show off,” Laurence said.

Students receive their scripts at 7 p.m. and rehearse in small groups until the show begins at 9 p.m. ONS’ next performance is scheduled for April 27, and students interested in being put on the mailing list should contact Doris Yen.

Sophomore Allie Geiger, who is in charge of Student Theatre’s publicity, described ONS as “high-impact, low commitment theatre.” Geiger said that every scene is around five to fifteen minutes, costumes are often but not always necessary, and that teamwork is essential to the success of the plays.

“It’s really neat the way everything comes together so quickly,” Geiger said.

ONS is also designed to include those who might not be directly involved with the theatre program. Senior Lucas Meeker, who acted in “Mint Julep,” said that ONS is always looking for students to participate.

“We advertise shamelessly on Facebook and with COOP sheets,” Meeker said.

According to Laurence, ONS promotes acting in the Colgate community when other musicals and plays are not going on.

“With the distance between production dates, ‘One Night Stands’ keeps the theatre community alive and active and brings in new people with each one,” Laurence said.

For those interested in some low-key acting or hilarious entertainment, the ONS performances are definitely worth your time. But enter the Creative Arts House at your own risk; you might just laugh your head off.