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‘Cut’ leaves audience with a confused smile
Confusion is a state of mind. It makes you wonder what just happened, because sometimes, you can’t quite put your finger on it.
This past weekend, 4th Wall, the student run theatrical society at Quinnipiac put on “Cut,” written by Ed Monk, a one act play within a play within a play. The actors and directors said it would make the audience laugh, cry and leave somewhat confused. They were right.
“I thought the play was excellent, however I was extremely confused by the end,” Jen Napiorski, freshman, Psychology major said.
Others agreed, and were especially lost when the play started with Brad and Carol, played by Mike Sangregorio and Ali Williams coming onto stage discussing dinner, soon to be interrupted by Andi, played by Julie Hargreaves and Mark, played by Kevin Sherman running onstage as directors because “Brad,” a character in another play missed a cue. As more characters entered, and more directors got angry at their actors, Buckman Theatre was filled with laughter and perplexed smiles.
“Before seeing the play I didn’t know what it was about at all, so I was definitely confused when all the directors started coming out,” said Jacki Schroder, Freshman Public Relations major. “It was unique and there were so many different characters and personality types.”
Because of the multiple personalities of characters, it was difficult for the audience to keep up, but the crew was able make it understandable. Jack O’Brien, Sophomore Media Productions major, and Assistant Director said timing and adding character flaws helped. “It was pretty hard giving every character his own quirk,” he said. “Since some of the actors played up to 9 different characters, we had to find ways to differentiate the characters – anything from a new accent to a change in hairdo. So planning and timing all of that was pretty meticulous.”
O’Brien and Director Rick Williams were impressed with the turnout and reactions from the audience. They expected laughter, but sometimes forgot that certain parts were so humorous.
“We didn’t expect the kind of laughs we got,” O’Brien said. “I guess when you have a joke in a play, and you rehearse it over and over again, you forget how funny it was to begin with. But you definitely remember when you hear 60 people laughing at it at the same time. It’s like rediscovering the whole play”
Williams, a Junior Theatre major also enjoyed the laughter. He said that the best part of directing a play is sitting back and watching your actors do their job successfully. This was his first experiencing directing, and he said he would definitely do it again if given the opportunity.
“I was very impressed and proud of everyone,” he said. “The best part is the feeling of having the audience laugh and smile, and knowing that you helped produce it.”
Freshman Julie Hargreaves, Public Relations majored debuted at Quinnipiac and played the role of Andi, one of the many directors in the play. She loves acting, and had been looking forward to getting involved with the drama program here at Quinnipiac. Even though they knew what it was about, the actors and actresses were also confused when they first started working on this successful production.
“At first I was really confused, but I was exited to be a part of the play because it seemed like it would be a lot of fun,” she said. “I thought it was so weird, and there were many times when the whole cast didn’t even understand what was going on. But we eventually understood the play enough to confuse the heck out of the audience. It was great!”
Hargreaves said she loved meeting new people and had a lot of fun acting in such a humorous play. Her favorite scenes were the two “party” scenes, where the cast randomly broke into song and dance when the Sugar Hill Gang “Apache” song was played. She also liked when all the characters pulled out their various scripts and acted confused.
“Cut” was successful, and the directors achieved their goal of confusing the audience.
“The best part is hearing how well it worked,” O’Brien said. “When you set out to make something confusing but funny, and somebody walks out of the theatre saying that it was confusing but funny, then you know you did your job.”