If you weren’t at the Masque and Triangle production of Three Gods Walk Into a Bar, you should probably be jealous of those of us who were. Sponsored by the religion depart-ment and the CORE 151 curriculum, the cast and crew put on four delightful performances of the production written by Nashville play-wright Ross Brooks. Under the brilliant guid-ance of director sophomore Jessica Hall, we were treated to an hour and a half of hilarious drunken banter between Greek gods who, fac-ing eviction from Mt. Olympus, have begun to question their significance to the lives of hu-man beings who have seemingly moved on to bigger and better gods.
Although she had participated in theater while in high school, Hall hadn’t thought about directing until coming to Colgate. Choosing Three Gods Walk Into a Bar as the play in which to debut her directing abilities was not a difficult one.
“I chose Three Gods Walk Into a Bar for a few reasons. One, because it is full of col-legiate humor that I knew would go over well with the general Colgate audience. I wanted something that the students could definitely connect to and [that would] allow people to realize that theater doesn’t have to be the high, obscure form of art that people some-times think of it as, but rather something that anyone can enjoy while still gaining some kind of higher insight,” she explained.
During the writer/director talkback, Brooks and Hall discussed how the play grapples with many of the struggles with faith that many students often find themselves faced with while in college. And yet, with the play’s intellectual component and relatability, what really seemed to hook people was the humor and comedic timing of actors.
With senior Alexandra Magnaud as Hera, sophomore Eric Bryden as Hermes, first-year Dan Kwartler as Dionysus, senior David Levy as Zeus and the help of the invaluable crew, Hall hit the nail on the head with this one. If your eyes weren’t watering from laughing at Bryden’s portrayal of Hermes, the taken-for-granted, high-strung messenger to the gods, then the an-tics of Dionysus and Hera involving pink furry handcuffs would have had you literally rolling on the floor laughing. The bar setting proved to be the perfect place for Hera and Dionysus to voice their frustrations with the pig-headed character of Zeus, who didn’t hesitate to assert his authority over everyone and everything, even at the slightest critique of his methods. It seemed that, with Levy’s powerful jaw and Magnaud’s flowing curls, the two were made to play gods, and their delivery of lines said just as much. Kwartler’s Dionysus and first-year Will Reisinger’s portrayal of archangel Michael had the crowd in fits as one ripped off his jacket to reveal a muscle-bearing tank top underneath, as the other tried to prove his sexual prowess to one lucky lady. The final addition of Jesus, played by first-year Chris Donnelly, only added further comedic value to the play.
Although everything was ef-fortlessly pulled together by show time, finding time for rehearsal in the hectic schedule of a Colgate student was a slight challenge.
“My cast and I really had to work hard to make the produc-tion a priority this semester, and I will not deny that putting on a full-length production like this takes devotion and willpower to really put the time in that is required… giving up an activity or two is not unusual and, as a director, I had to be aware of my actor’s various other commitments and try to work around other schedules as much as possible,” Hall said. “Still, I was very for-tunate that, when the times arose that I had to ask for my actors or crew to give up their other activities, they always made the production a priority. It is one thing that I think made both our production and our team so strong.”
The flexibility of the actors was important and, ultimately, so was the ability of the actors to gel together properly.
“I think that when a group of people can work so well together and still create lasting relationships, that’s when you know that you have a true team,” Hall said.
The quality of the performances, especially under the strain of differing schedules, speaks volumes to Hall’s budding talent as director. Three Gods Walk Into a Bar was certainly a memorable and entertaining performance.
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