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April 23, 2024

Witness Theatre showcases Intersession talent

By SPENCER ABROHMS | February 18, 2016


COURTESY OF STEPHAN CAPRILES The Witness Theatre Intersession Showcase was a mix of comedy and drama, highlighting student talent.

From Friday, Feb. 12 to Sunday, Feb. 14, The Witness Hotel took over the Swirnow Theater in the Mattin Center. The Witness Hotel was one of the Witness Theater’s many completely student developed productions. The show was produced by Alberto “Pepe” Muniz and each of the four comedies that composed the show had a different student director.

“The four plays were written by students [and] directed by students; the set was designed and built by students, entirely student done,” said Muniz.

Work began on Witness Hotel back in October. Witness Theater decided that instead of producing four different sets as it usually does, that it would produce a single set and tell the different stories that happen there. The writers got to work and created four different short comedies all taking place in the same hotel location. Auditions took place at the end of the fall semester and the cast practiced endless hours throughout Intersession to be ready for the performance.

Witness Hotel is made up of four one-act plays that go in chronological order from the mid-twentieth century to modern day. All four acts take place in the same hotel lobby and although the topics of conversation change throughout time, the lobby remains. Many of the actors appear in multiple acts, playing different roles.

“This set is much more high caliber than we usually do in Witness. This production entirely has been a next step for us in every sense of the word,” said Muniz.

The first act titled “Dropping the Eaves” was directed by Tatiana Ford. This act takes place in the mid-twentieth century and shows the glamour of the time period, over-exaggerated accents and all.

“Dropping the Eaves” is a hilarious look at how gossip and miscommunication can cause rampant paranoia. The mishearing of multiple members of the hotel staff of their boss on the phone lead them to believe that he has been murdered and sends them on a wild goose chase to find him.

The next act “Rooms Available” is directed by Sharon Maguire. When there is a large storm that plagues the hotel, the characters are left to fight it out for one available room. They employ trickery, insults and brute force in an attempt to get what they want, to comedic avail.

The third act titled “The Voicemail” is directed by Robin Dickey. “The Voicemail” takes place in modern times and covers an argument over the use of the hotel lobby’s phone when bad service cuts out all cellphone reception. One man is leaving repeated voicemails for his girlfriend who rejected his cheap wedding proposal. He repeatedly leaves increasingly ill-advised and desperate voicemails while a woman attempts to make a call to her fiancé who is attempting to win approval for their relationship. The two fight while at the same time trying to help each other with their respective problems.

The final act titled “The Duchess” is directed by Christy Lee and takes place in the same hotel only something is different. As a young couple goes into the seemingly abandoned hotel for a romantic evening, they are met by a ghoulish duchess and her henchman.

As they drink strange liquids, they are forced to confront their inner demons as well as the demons that may be right in front of them.

Freshman Michael Feder is the only actor who appears in all four acts of the play as the same character. He plays Seymour the humorous bellhop.

“It’s just very dynamic there are a lot of different genre’s in play,” Feder said. “Every show is well written in its sort of genre that it decides to speak upon, there’s very absurd comedy, there’s very straightforward comedy, there’s a lot of stuff going on. The acting, if I say so myself, is really great. It’s a lot of fun to be in.”

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