During this year’s 19th annual Arts Fest Celebration, the Boston College Theatre Department concluded its season with Now & Then, a collection of short plays written by five alumni playwrights. Scott T. Cummings, aprofessor in the theatre department, directed the show, which showcased the incredible talents of BC’s own featured writers.
The Bonn theaterserved as the ideal setting for the performances—intimate, yet professional. The close proximity of the actors to the audience created a powerful feeling of connection within the theater. This minimalist setting with its simple lights allowed the audience to connect with the characters.
Students in the theatre department had the opportunity to connect with alumni in a constructive and creative environment. Those involved in the production were treated to a hands-on learning opportunity as the actors treated and workshopped with professionals in the industry.
Each of the five scriptwriters created a single, 20-minute scene that could serve as a section of a larger play. The themes of scripts all discuss different topics and range from tear-jerking dramas, to satires, to mythological fantasies. Each of the writers gave the audience a quick snapshot into their aesthetic and artistic styles.
The Shot by Emily Dendinger, BC ’05, is a touching story depicting the unique relationship between two siblings, their struggle to cope with the death of their father, who the audience later discovers was killed on Sept. 11, 2001. Daniel Quinones and Haley Bannon, MCAS ’19 and ’20, respectively, played a brother and sister living in Northern New Jersey. Through touching, witty, and sometimes sarcastic dialogue, Dendinger provides commentary on sports, life, and how to mourn.
An Appeal by Patricia Noonan, BC ’07, takes place in a courtroom, and is a fantastical interpretation depicting the trial of Adam and Eve regarding original sin. The plot line is funny, creative, and leaves the audience wondering who is in fact to blame. The religious commentary and biblical basis of the script are not overwhelming in the slightest. The audience gets the opportunity to experience both sides—the final words of the scene leave the verdict to the imagination.
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A Single Night of a Lifetime by Jeff Augustin, BC ’08, takes place on a New York City Street late at night. The dialogue is thought provoking, sensual, and relatable. Augustin has had great success within the industry, and many of his plays and scripts are widely acknowledged and performed. His latest project is writing for Claws on TNT and he is currently developing a new series for AMC.
Scratch Until by Patrick Lazour, BC ’08, & Daniel Lazour, BC ’13, takes place in a bar in the Bowery in New York City. With many musical components, and an assist from musical director Andrew Gaffney, BC ’16, the scene perfectly combines dialogue with performance. The musicians, Daniel Saillant, MCAS ’20, and Stephen McAlee, CSOM ’18, added feeling and an element of surprise to the dialogue. The scene has six characters, and they all work together in harmony to bring the scene to life. The Lazours have been writing musical theatre together for the past seven years, and have written and produced five musicals together.
Tiny Chairs for Plastic Dolls by Emma Stanton, BC ’06, is set in the basement of a church in Pittsburgh, Penn. and has a fairly large cast, compared to many of the other scenes. The scene is touching, while still being humorous and uplifting. Stanton is currently a lecturer in the theatre and performance studies department at the University of Chicago and is working on developing her newest play June in the Parade.
The BC Theatre Department provides the University community with the opportunity to support and engage with the arts community on campus. The production was creative and innovative, and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon while relishing in alumni talents that continue to be shared even after their time at BC has come to a close.
Featured Image by Amelie Trieu / Heights Editor