‘Rumors’ has it

The Fourth Wall theater group confirmed any 'Rumors' about putting on a great performance with its most recent production

By on March 27, 2018

The Fourth Wall theater group has hosts several performances throughout the year, and the newest production “Rumors” fits right at home as being another amazing play that has graced the black box. With jazz covers of popular music playing in the background and a set that looked like a nice living room, the show already felt inviting.

Richie Petrosino | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
The show began with character Chris Gorman (Tess Adams) nervously pacing the set in an anxiety ridden stretch. She keeps pacing until she gets a phone call from a Dr. Dudley when her husband Ken (Ryan Sheehan) jumps out from the staircase, warning her that she mustn’t tell Dudley what happened with Charlie. They, along with their friends, have been invited to Charlie and Myra’s 10-year anniversary when something goes awry.

This high anxiety runs throughout the play but it is cleverly separated with comedic bursts from all the characters. The audience has to wait to find out what happened to the characters’ dear friend but to help the growing impatience of wanting to figure out the problem, the jokes and witty comebacks distract the audience and allow this mystery to last longer.

Chris and Ken hilariously attempt to hide their friends from finding the truth by creating bizarre lies about where the host couple could be, making sure to be as vague as possible while their guests are completely confused.

The first couple who appear to the party after the Gormans are Claire Ganz (Jamie Ackerman) and Lenny Ganz (James Miller). At first, the Gormans attempt to conceal the truth from the Ganzs but Claire’s characteristic of gossiping and Lenny’s outright frustration make Ken confess the truth- the Charlie shot himself in the head.

But, don’t worry, he only shot himself in the earlobe and is on Valium in the upstairs bedroom while Myra is nowhere to be found. The premise of the play is to make sure this story never gets out in order to protect Charlie from the harsh people he has associated himself with. Ken makes it clear that this suicide attempt could ruin him socially, and themes of gossip run high throughout the play.

The Cuzaks (Jeremy Caulkins and Paige Parton) join the party along with the Coopers (Carleigh Peterson and Joseph Powell) where the ambiguity and weirdness of the party make everyone freak out. Cookie Cuzak is having horrible back spasms and Cassie Cooper is insecure about her relationship and brings up the fact that she has heard rumors of her husband having an affair. In this space surrounded by so much gossip, the characters reach a breaking point, completely forgetting about what to do with Charlie.

The cast of this performance was wonderful and there were many familiar faces from past shows from Quinnipiac. Peterson previously performed in “Imaginary Invalid” as Toinette alongside Sheehan who played Cléante.

The comedic timing and delivery of the jokes was amazing and had the audience laughing. This show was labeled as a comedy and made sure to fulfill its title during its showings. Traits of sarcasm, cluelessness and over-the-top character qualities combined beautifully, and with the continuous stress of having Charlie upstairs only made the humor better.

At one point Ken goes upstairs to “check on Charlie and Myra” who are still “getting ready” when a gunshot rings out in the theater. The audience gasped as they were scared out of their seats. Then Ken somehow has to make excuses to convince the guests that it wasn’t a gunshot, making for one of the funniest moments.

Richie Petrosino | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
This play is rich in dialogue and heated scenes that needed to be performed sharply and emotionally, otherwise they wouldn’t stand out amongst all of the characters in the same room. The cast did a spectacular job conveying the personality of all the bold characters and delivered every line as should.

The play was directed by senior english major Christy Dzubay.

“This was my first time directing, though I was an assistant director for Fourth Wall’s production of ‘Really, Really’ last year,” Dzubay said. “I have been involved with the QU theater department since my freshman year and grew up doing theater, so it’s been an awesome way to finish up my time at QU.”

Since “Rumors” is the biggest production that the Fourth Wall has done, the task of directing was arduous.

“It was definitely a huge undertaking,” Dzubay said. “Luckily, the students involved in Fourth Wall are all willing to put their blood, sweat and tears into creating a great production, which is the reason that we were able to produce such a large-scale play.”

The audience reaction to the production has proven how successful the Fourth Wall theater group has been in performing this big play.

“The reactions from the audience have all been really positive, which we were all happy to hear,” Dzubay said. “Comedy relies heavily on audience feedback; it’s much easier for the actors to keep up full energy on stage when they hear they audience laughing.”

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About Charlotte Gardner

Arts and Life Editor