Saturday, April 02, 2005

Brand New Theatre at USC

Joyita and I went to see the brand new theatre show at the Massman theatre today. The experience was simply amazing - there were these short (and long) acts performed by USC students, completely created by them: script, lighting, sounds, everything! The acts were from 5 minutes to 20 minutes long and revolved around life in the dorms/fraternities/sororities at USC but covered topics from alcohol abuse to football at USC.

For the impatient, the snaps and a video are at this page. Please note that a) the pictures were taking without a flash and so are hazy and b) there are no captions, so I recommend reading on before opening the pics or opening the above link in a new tab [what! you do not use a browser with tabbing facility... shame on you].

The theme tonight was My Big Fat Greek Production, and all was very relevent, from the stage decoration to the pamphlet.

First, a gentleman dressed in greek attire greeted us with music, playing some sort of modified hawaiian guitar and then a banjo. The first act, titled Stubats, was basically a fraternity hazing thing in which Winthrop Ellsworth showed us how much he loved his "house", depicted by a cardboard box. The idea of him talking to the audience the whole time was nice, and the other character sitting in the front row was also playing his part nicely.

Second was Scripted, which showed a young man who is deeply in love with a girl but cannot stop planning about how things should be. Hi dad comes and talks some sense into him finally and asks him to stop planning and go for the real thing. The rewind-play again nature of certain scenes was amusing.

The third performance of the night was commons, an extremely wonderful piece written and directed by Kirill Baru, who takes the cake of reminding me of the others and lost highway simultaneously. The piece starts with two girls, one of whom decides to tail her professor in search of a good script for her play, but ends up planning to murder the professor's comatose lover. The strangeness begins when the comatose girl wakes up and tells our protagonist that she is actually dreaming this whole thing! More interesting and unbelievable things happen and you simply must see it to experience it fully. Excellent work by all.

Next came Spirit of Troy, which was a nice behind-the-scenes look at how the USC Trojan football team works. They hilariously showed a scene from the home of coach Pete Carrol, whom the university president reprimands for not defeating the opponents by a zero! Hilarity ensues as he goes on to try to whip the coach's behind! Jaimey played the role of the coach's wife and did a good job of shouting at her husband towards the latter part of the act, after having tried in vain to seduce him and pull him away from the football videogame :-). [Jaimey was the one who helped me in attending this show in the first place... thanks Jaimey!! ]


The second part of the evening opened with The Way it Went Down, a funny take on how Jesus, and other biblical characters were frat boys and how the others picked on Judas so much that he had to call the police [romans in this case]. The only (minor) goof up was a beard on one of the characters that started to come off towards the end. John's streaking was hilarious! He got quite a few cheers from the girls :-). This skit reminded me of the various Modern Ramayans we used to have back in ITBHU.

That was followed by Room 308, which focussed on building of relationships between roommates when they first arrive at their dorms in freshman year - how different people get together and how some influences can be bad. The piece started with a girl enticing a new one to drink "just one drink" which leads to several more that evening and ultimately leads to her death. The first girl is then shows as a resident advisor two years later who is helping new dorm members settle down. The whole skit was sooooo nicely done... excellent performaces by all the actors here!

The final piece was titled Scenes for Young Actors, and Clay from second nature was the main protagonist, Ryder, with a "Y". The act had him trying to convince his girlfriend how he has found his true calling in life, bussing tables and secretly aspiring to act in westside story. The actors then one by one broke into a song and the whole thing transformed into a musical. The piece climaxed with the whole cast of the evening coming out of the wings to take a bow.

It was a nice scene to watch, especially when they all came together on stage. I have a small video also that pans the whole scene.

All this reminded me sooooooooo much of ITBHU theatre. I miss the good old days when we used to work day and night to get a play/skit/mime/expressions on stage and finally when the audience applauded, we felt sooo like a team and sometimes cried with joy (I still remember the last part of Kunal ). I had similar happiness today watching Jaimey, Nick, Clay, John and gang basking in the glory of their successful endeavor. I wish them all the luck and hope to see more students performances at USC.

So long guys.. thanks for reading all the way down to here... remember to make your voice heard by posting a comment!


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:21 AM

    A very long article...

    i like reading your blogs and thats the reason i visit it when ever i get time. I dont intend to create any suspense around you. Thats not my motive by any chance. Though i dont like some of your choices like your SRK...he acts well only when he is in Karan Jauhars movie otherwise he overacts and is hopeless kinds ;)...there are so many things where i dont agree with u but still i read your blog...Hope i have cleared this doubt of your. Next question which will be brewing in your little mind "how did i get this blog" well i just gave some search in google sometimes back and found your blog..liked it so stored the link...Anyways now stop breaking your head on ppl who visit your blogs and write some good articles...

    Is it wrong to read someones blog?

    Yours truly