Imagine a zombie-ridden fairytale universe, throw in a nuclear fallout bunker and add some skinny-dipping. Top that all off with a bottle of Jägermeister, and you’ve got a recipe for a successful series of plays.
On Wednesday, the Bradley Department of Theatre Arts debuted “8 By 10,” a group of eight, 10-minute-long plays performed in the Hartmann Center. The production runs about an hour and a half long, including a brief intermission, but the variety of performances shown and the comedic and emotional value they bring causes the night to fly by.
“I was very happy with our opening … it was a deeply rewarding culmination of a novel type of collaborative effort by nearly 50 students. It was very exciting, too, to debut an all-new stage configuration at the Hartmann Center,” director Scott Kanoff said.
Although I enjoyed all of the plays, the three I most look forward to seeing again are “Cake,” the final show of the first act, “Lynette at 3 AM,” the beginning of the second act, and “I bought a Bunker, B—-” the final play of the night.
“Cake” is a jaunty play about two lustful chihuahuas. Naturally, the show is absolutely hysterical, but it also packs an unexpected emotional punch. Junior Antonio Duca, who plays the main character, a chihuahua named Paco, was one of the standouts of the night. He slips effortlessly between hilarious and heartfelt and almost convinced me to like chihuahuas.
Another standout was Mia Katz, a junior theater performance major who plays the lead in “Lynette at 3:00 AM.” This play addresses the cold reality of modern-day relationships and the question of “What happens after we die?” Katz does an excellent job of playing Lynette, the warm but easily-distracted protagonist. Overall, the actors do an incredible job of portraying the message in their 10-minute time frame.
“Everyone had really great urgency and commitment tonight, and I think it’s very evident that everyone in this group is passionate about their craft,” Katz said.
“I bought a bunker, B—-” is just as funny as the name would imply, but the comedy of the play was only second to the top-notch acting. Sophomore Andrew Derdena played the part of the pathetic, ex-boyfriend perfectly, and sophomore Gabi Cadieux does excellent within her role as the edgy ex-girlfriend. That being said, my favorite part of the show was the “French sluts,” played by Jeremiah Lee and Noah Mollett, and I’m certain that everyone in the audience would gladly see the production again just to get a glimpse of Johnny Cash’s floating head.
Other students shared praise for this production.
“I enjoyed the variety of shows played,” Chloe Woodin, a freshman nursing major, said. “There was some serious content, but there was also a lot of funny stories.”
You can still catch “8 By 10- A Festival of Short Plays” tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. The production will also have a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Student tickets are $8, but the show is more than worth the price.