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The Current

Review: Drama team closes the curtains on “Play On”

Sophomore Andrew Jeffers joined by Junior Jordan Moore and Adam Merrill express their differing characters they portray in the play. Photo by Zach Fink.

The entertainers in “Play On” really got their act together to perform a great show.

“Play On,” a “play within a play,” performed its final show on Saturday, April 6th, the last of six shows across the span of two weeks. The show was both a murder mystery and a comedy – the script was written for characters who were also actors or directors, and so the storyline followed the humorous attempt of a drama group to get their costuming right, set finished, lines memorized, voice inflections proper, and sound effects properly timed before the upcoming “Murder Most Foul.”

The show consisted of three acts, with two brief intermissions: the first act reviewed one of the cast’s rehearsals, a few days before opening night. The second act portrayed a dress rehearsal of the show and how it was not titled “Murder Most Fowl” (in order to avoid plagiarism), and the third act was opening night itself.

This three-act idea, while admittedly successful in giving the illusion of days passing, did leave a sort of awkward secondary intermission where the audience, already having gone to the bathroom, gotten a snack, etc., during the first intermission, just sat in their chairs and waited. Still, even with the three acts, it was a fairly good length.

The multi-day effect was also aided by the amazing tech team – they were tasked with building a set that slowly “improved,” having add-ons that made it look as though it was gradually being built, painted, and decorated with props.

This, along with the “director” coming down and sitting in the audience chairs, made the play feel interactive, as well as clarify the difference between the actors’ parts and the actors’ parts’ parts.

This difficult play-within-a-play aspect meant that the actors had to go through the same lines several times, with different “mistakes” made every time, and the repetition presented quite a challenge.

Though there was a little bit of stumbling over lines, for the most part, the play was successful.

The small cast of ten achieved a highly comedic performance, with good projection and enunciation that ensured that everyone in the audience could hear and understand the jokes written into the script. Those who paid attention during the first and second acts almost felt as though they were part of a series of inside jokes during the third; it referenced several instances from prior “rehearsals” that kept the audience laughing almost constantly during “opening night.”

If you didn’t have the opportunity to see this play, I highly recommend going to see one of Bear River’s productions in the future. There are two shows each year, one in the fall and one in the spring, and generally at least one of these is a musical.

Director Mrs. Noah highly recommends that anyone with even a little bit of interest in acting auditions for a play, because, even though this cast was extremely small, some casts include as many as 25 students. Often, new actors are chosen to make up a significant portion of each show.

The actors in Play On successfully performed a hilarious and comprehensive show, and so yet another great Bear River Production is in the books.

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Review: Drama team closes the curtains on “Play On”