I Am Not Alone: Theater at a New Level

Lizzy Corn

I Am Not Alone is a piece of a larger dramatic play by Harold Pinter, which is entitled One for the Road, that was adapted and directed by senior Dani Nolan. Although there were only two characters, Nolan designed a script that would allow three talented Colgate students to showcase their range of skills and emotions. I Am Not Alone was at first one scene from the original piece, but Nolan adapted it into several scenes, cutting at staggered times so that it would repeat the last piece of the previous dialogue and then introduce the new text. Sophomore Sam Torrey, senior Mike Chateauneuf, and sophomore Alexander Korman switched roles with each scene change so that by the end of the show each had played both characters. The beautiful thing about Nolan’s technique was that it contributed to the play in such a way that the audience was shown a new, more intense version of the psychological drama and the actors were able to present the same story in their own way.

The setting is an interrogation room which looks more like an office, with a desk, two chairs and a table with whiskey, ice and glasses. The director made good use of the small theater on the terrace level of Lawrence, incorporating entrances from both ends of the room. The two characters in the play are the interrogator, and the subject of interrogation. In the first scene, Torrey played the interrogator, and asks that the subject be sent in. Chateauneuf slowly enters from the back door of the theater and joins Torrey on stage. Most of the scene is a monologue delivered by Torrey, but the acting of the “interrogatee” spoke just as loud. It is a common mistake for a young actor to nervously rush a monologue, however, this fault was not committed by any of the actors even though both Korman and Torrey are new to Colgate stage. In fact, they effectively used silence to heighten the tension between themselves and the interrogatee. This tension was so extreme that it reached into the audience as well, drawing them into the world that the actors had created.

The dialogue of the scene was a demonstration of dominance on the part of the interrogator. As each subject entered the room they were told to “stand up” and then moments later to “sit down” for no apparent reason other than to establish control. Each actor took their time with their words, delivering them differently to make the part their own. There was a noticeable difference between the deliveries in this same scene, as each then delivers the line, “thank you, very much” in a variety of taunting, sarcastic tones. Other excellently creepy lines throughout the scene include, “What a good looking woman your wife is, you’re a very lucky man,” and, “I’m prepared to be frank, as a true friend should … I love death.” The play as a whole was more than one would ever expect from a student piece. The three students carried the entire performance and the audience was left shocked and moved, but mainly impressed.