Students presented their own original work at “Quickies,” Brandeis Ensemble Theater’s showcase of 10-minute plays written, produced and directed by students.
The first act consisted of five plays, followed by seven more in the second act.
The SCC Theater was packed on Sunday, Feb. 12, as many people came out to support their friends who were involved in the show. Actors were greeted with their friends’ cheers after each performance. The ambience of the theater was relaxed, and while some plays had a somber or serious tone, many were comedic.
My personal favorites were from the first act, which consisted of five shorts. The first play, “Cats: The Musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber Based on the Poems by T.S. Eliot” written by Abbie Goldberg ’18, Peter Diamond ’20, and Aaron Goodwin ’18, was definitely a comedy. It was about a stereotypical Jewish grandmother telling her granddaughter a twisted version of the story “The Lorax.” The story was told in song and featured a heavy social justice theme. It involved a rich woman who wanted to cut down trees to create clothes. The social justice warrior Lorax tried to conquer her with jokes and songs. There was even a part where someone came out with an anarchy flag. The Lorax eventually gave up because she was offered a job.
One of the performers, Klarissa Hollander ’20, explained how the audition and rehearsal process for the quickie worked. “I auditioned on Jan. 22 by reading a monologue and singing a couple of lines and I found out that I was cast on Jan. 28. My particular quickie had four rehearsals (more than most because we did a musical), and then we spent most of Saturday doing a tech rehearsal with the whole group. It was a really great experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for something fun and creative to stick into a busy schedule.”
Another powerful performance was “Wordless,” written by Amanda Ehrmann ’18 and directed by Sarah Salinger-Mullen ’19. Set in a totalitarian society, where the government controls everything, from names to words that people are permitted to use. Two sisters discover the word “poem” and become enchanted by it. The girls are supposed to receive their names from the government and then discover that their father rebelled against the government and that there are many other prohibited words. Nyomi White ’20 played the role of the sister who was reluctant to rebel against the government and did not want anyone to use the banned words. There is a scene where she plucks the forbidden words out of a box, reads them aloud and kisses them before throwing them away. She was strongly encouraged to audition, and rightly so; her performance was amazing.
“I auditioned because Gabe Walker was my director for ‘Urinetown,’ and he and Emily Galloway urged me to audition,” said White of the two “Quickies” producers. “My favorite thing about my play was its relevance to right now. Words mean something especially in a time marked by hatred. I was glad to be a part of it,” White said.
One of the funniest plays was “Gabe’s Games,” written by Gabe Walker ’19 and Emily Galloway ’18, and directed by Otis Fuqua ’19. It features Gabe (Zephry Wright ’17) as a game show host who chooses people from the actual audience and asks them to guess a number between one and one billion. Once people guessed a number, he would tell them they were wrong, yell at them and throw candy at them. The audience was in stitches.
“The event was really fun,” White said. “It was cool to see so many talented people come together to make so many different shows,” she continued.
On the back of the “Quickies” program was the Urban Dictionary definition of a quickie: “any form of intercourse that is meant to be done quickly. This is meant to give each person participating a ‘quick thrill’ and an expectancy of things to come.” There is no doubt that the Brandeis Ensemble Theater has many great performances in store.