Wild Monologues Hit Colgate

Wild Monologues Hit Colgate

Saturday, November 11, marked the successful final showing of “Monologues Gone Wild,” a seven-part production presented by Student Theater and directed by sophomore Allie Geiger.

Most of the individual pieces were outrageously comical, some with a poignant twinge to them and all were well performed. When the lights went up to start the show, junior Jen Leen was curled up in a tiny ball on the floor rocking back and forth like someone suffering a panic attack. As she began to extend various limbs, flinging them in different directions, it dawned on the audience that she was attempting to simulate an egg hatching. No one took to the floor from then on, though the show had its more bizarre moments.

“My character, Eliza, got some good laughs each night but for different reasons,” Leen explains. The personality of “An Early Career,” was a dramatic teenager certain that she was destined for stardom, prone to declaring things like “I am going to be an actress,” with an authoritative tone daring the audience to prove her wrong.

“Some [audience members] felt sorry for her because of her awful assumption that she has talent as an actress,” Leen said. “Others laughed at her poor attempt to metamorphasize the egg hatching.”

The next monologue, “Lonely At The Top,” performed by sophomore Zach Mancher, was physically more subdued. Wearing a sharp black suit, perched at the edge of his chair, Mancher confidently delivered the first few lines. Portraying a businessman who has spent his life in search of an archrival to drive him to success, he coolly claimed, “Hell is being alone at the top. The longer I go without someone to truly match me, my life starts to disappear.”

Senior Andy Potter was next with “Wasted Ticket,” an eerie monologue about a man driven to cynicism and perhaps semi-insanity by the menacing nature of life. He turns to the businessman on his right, and talking to himself describes his smile as “one that says I’ll steal your wife and buy her diamonds. And leave you with the leftovers.” Looking to his left he sees a little boy, and darkly notes, “I can’t just tell him the world’s evil, and have him understand.”

The next piece, “On Smoking,” changed the tone of the show entirely. Senior Lucas Meeker took the stage in a backwards cap, loosely slung jeans, and a zip up, claiming that he was about to enlighten us about why smoking was good for everyone. “I’ve got plenty of good reasons why you should smoke,” he proclaimed, pacing back and forth like a man with a nicotine addiction. “Number one: if you don’t smoke, you’re a [freaking] terrorist.” Meeker was able to draw plenty of laughs from the audience, who never got tired of the sharp one-liners like “If everyone smoked, no one would live past the age of 65,” as a solution for the problem of Social Security.

“The Thigh Thing,” performed by Dani Nolan was similar to “An Early Career” in its melodramatic tone. “I tried to kill myself the other day,” Nolan declared, pausing dramatically to let the words sink in. She then launched into a self-absorbed monologue depicting an attention-seeking author pondering suicide as a way to get her work recognized. Hers was the least easy to sympathize with out of the seven, performed perfectly and leaving the audience wishing she had succeeded in her attempt.

Junior Ryan Dunbar took the stage next with “Spoken Word Poetry,” written by Lucas Meeker. Portraying a Colgate student, he soliloquized about being “hungry for the moment,” and looking for the meaning in life through the blessing of poetry.

“When I initially read the monologue,” Dunbar said, “I had problems personally connecting to it. Many of the feelings it expressed were foreign to me.”

The finale piece titled “Trees” was by far the most bizarre of the seven. Senior John Slefinger fearlessly dove into a difficult monologue in which the character spent the entire time trying to convince the audience why having sex with trees was perfectly healthy.

“Because we fear what we don’t understand,” he confidently said, “ask yourself, do you know dendrophilia?”

“I got the types of reactions you really want from a shock-humor piece like this: delayed laughter,” Slefinger later explained. “The lines had to sink in…they were weirded out clearly, but also laughing a lot.”

The performers credited director Allie Geiger with helping them develop their characters. The show ran from Thursday to Saturday, and was well attended each night. Upcoming events for Student Theater include this weekend’s “Man of La Mancha” in Brehmer Theater, Experimental Theater on December 1-2, and the Nutcracker on the 8-10.