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Play Review: ‘Lily Hare’
Quinnipiac's Theater for Community performed the original play written by professor Kevin Daly
The play “Lily Hare” made it’s debut throughout the weekend of Thursday Feb. 28. Quinnipiac’s Theater for Community program performed this dark comedy that’s easy to follow despite the many twists and surprises.
The original play was written by New Haven playwright and part-time professor, Kevin Daly. Professor Daly has written plays since 2004, and created “Lily Hare” specifically for the Quinnipiac Theater Department. He drew inspiration for the play from the QU Theater Department’s specific requests, the Astor Place Riot of of 1849, and his own creative needs, he said.
Sophomore Michelle Ayrapetyan plays the main character, Lily Hare, who isn’t a gifted actress, but believes she’s the most talented performer in the world. Set in New York in 1849, Lily and her student, Ned Tambourine, played junior Michael Bobenhausen, travel around and put on shows for small audiences, usually consisting of poorly memorized speeches from Shakespeare. This often results in tomatoes being thrown at Lily. Together they pickpocket and steal from people in order to make money, as Lily’s acting doesn’t bring much in. Lily’s true character is revealed when she takes advantage of a rich and stupid young man named Simon Filbert, played by freshman Dan Fox.
“Lily Hare” is a play within a play, and this becomes apparent a few minutes into the production when a student in the audience unexpectedly stands up and starts shouting at the actors on stage. A few moments later, there were roughly ten people placed sporadically throughout the crowd screaming both at the actors on stage and at each other. Once the audience realized that these people were actors in the play, “Lily Hare” became that much more comical.
Freshman audience member Zef Krasnigi said the off-stage characters were his favorite part of “Lily Hare.”
“I thought they were really funny. The random moments that they would speak and the strange comments that they would blurt out were hysterical,” Krasnigi said.
The in-audience actors bellowing that the play was horrible made the actual audience go wild with laughter, especially when one loudly blurted out he wanted pirates in the play. The audience kept their eyes peeled for flying water bottles and garbage, as well, as the in-audience actors actually threw these items at Lily and Ned on stage.
“Lily Hare” can be described as a comedic tennis match, and its plot and consistent interaction between audience members and those on stage is an original concept. Though a lot is going on at once, this results in laughter as opposed to confusion.
Meaghan Sullivan, a freshmen audience member who attended the play to fulfill a requirement for her drama class, said that the actors added humor and a realness to the play that was unexpected.
“I liked when the on-stage actors would interact with the audience and involve them with what was going on in certain scenes,” Sullivan said.
Bobenhausen’s portrayal of Ned was hysterical, between mocking Lily and his interaction with the audience. Fox exemplified Simon’s adorably stupid nature with ease, and Ayrapetyan played Lily’s scheming, delusional, and manipulative character extremely well. The on-stage characters possessed a wonderful chemistry, and the off-stage characters were convincing as an upset audience.
“I thought the play went very well,” Daly said. “We had a great turnout. Nearly full houses every night. The students who came to the show seemed to enjoy it and the students who participated all seemed to get a lot out of it.”
Audience members never experienced a dull moment during “Lily Hare,” a play chocked full of laughs and perhaps one of the most unique performances Quinnipiac’s seen yet.
Promo video for “Lily Hare.”