Drama runs high at Honors College

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Brittan Bates | The Daily Wildcat


Afaq Mahmoud, an undeclared freshman, and James Miscione, a neuroscience and cognitive sciences sophomore, perform the one-act ʺShe Talks to Beethovenʺ during the Honors Players' one-act plays at Slonaker House on Tuesday. ʺShe Talks to Beethovenʺ is directed by Chloe Loos, a sophomore studying theatre and film and television, and is one of four other one-act plays being staged by the theater group.

The Honors Players are performing an assortment of one-act plays on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in Slonaker House, and there is sure to be a lot of laughter, a few tears and a whole lot of drama.

The Honors Players are a group of students who both enjoy working in theater and being involved in the Honors College. The group has just recently become an official club after being granted funding by the Honors College.

Open to students of all majors, disciplines and ranges of prior experience, the Honors College website describes the players as “a group of talented students who value performance and its art.” 

The club is in the process of establishing a wider array of activities, including watching plays and holding an improv game night, in order to include more students who enjoy theater but don’t necessarily want to be involved in a full-scale production.

With that in mind, putting on performances is a central part of the Honors Players. This year’s first production from the group is comprised of four separate plays, each consisting of one act and varying in length from 10 to 50 minutes.

The first play, “The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry,” is a comedy about a woman retelling a dating disaster to her close friends. Directed by Alexandra Totillo, a student studying French and psychology, it is sure to inspire some laughter and maybe even tug at a few heartstrings.

Following is “The Philadelphia,” directed by Chris Pawlik, a pre-computer science student. The comedic single act focuses on a man and the odd occurrences he experiences at a restaurant.

Next in the lineup is the only drama of the night, “She Talks to Beethoven.” The play is being directed by Chloe Loos, a sophomore studying theatre, film and television. This one-act tells the story of an African-American playwright living in post-independence Ghana. Her husband is missing, and she is able to find comfort in Beethoven.

The final and longest play of the night, titled “Multiplex,” takes place in a movie theater and follows the stories of various different characters who are simply trying to see a film. It is described as having a bit of a dark humor and is directed by Ellie Boyles, a theatre production junior.

The four productions explore a variety of different situations, from comedic to heartfelt and everything in-between. They allow the directors and actors to explore the plays and their interpretations of them.

“My favorite thing about working on the one-acts is being able to work with like-minded people and working on our characters’ interactions with each other,” said Lola Lozano, an undeclared freshman. “It takes character development to a whole new level as you try to find your characters’ genuine reactions.”

Lozano is playing the waitress in “The Philadelphia.”

With the Honors Players still being in its early years as a theater group, there were some expected bumps along the way that the cast and crew had to deal with.

Loos said the most difficult part of directing “She Talks to Beethoven” is “Coordinating time among people. Scheduling is always the hardest thing when you do something like this.”

Loos is also the programming director of the Honors Players and was involved in theater throughout her high school years.

Nearly two months of work has gone into the Honors Players one-act plays, and this weekend, it will all come together. The performances will be held in the Slonaker House living room. There will be snacks for the audience, admission is free and audience members are guaranteed a great show.

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