Thick, gray curtains frame a studio classroom, setting a somber mood. But the play that will take place in that room will be comic.
The dramatic space is the stage for LAB! Theatre’s second-stage production of “Not Just Mere Mortals,” opening tonight.
SEE THE PLAY
Time: 8 p.m. Thursday – Sunday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 5 p.m. Monday
Location: Center for Dramatic Art room 104
“It’s comedy with a message,” said stage manager and senior Paul Hovey.
“What does it mean to be mortal, and what does that mean for us? Each play looks at that idea in a different way.”
The show is composed of four short plays, all written by playwright David Ives. It runs continuously for 75 minutes.
Erika Edwards, student director, said she specifically wanted to bring some comedy to LAB!’s fall season.
“As a senior I’m exploring this idea of different identities, and I think as college students we play around with different identities a lot,” Edwards said.
“We try on all these different things, especially picking classes and picking a major.”
“You think you’re just seeing different scenes of a play with all the same characters, but it’s actually different plays,” Edwards said.
She said the plays transition seamlessly.
“It seems like you’re seeing (the actors) in a different scene at a different point in their life … like you’re following the same characters throughout the whole play.”
Hovey said each show is an exaggeration of reality, and it’s hard for him to choose his favorite one.
Hovey said three of the plays are true comedies, but the fourth — “The Other Woman” — is the darkest of the collection.
Sophomore Kristi Stout, one of the show’s six actors, is in the “The Other Woman.”
“It kind of hits you in the gut, so I’m excited to share it,” she said.
Hovey said the audience is a crucial part of the theatrical equation.
“The theater is half what’s going on on-stage and half what the audience is doing,” Hovey said.
“We can prep as much as we can, but until you have an audience, the play’s only half done.”
Hovey said there will not be much audience interaction, unlike previous LAB! shows, such as “Alice: A devised Alice in Wonderland project.”
Seating is limited, with the studio classroom only fitting 50 people.
“A lot of times with LAB!, we have to close the house early because more people show up than we can fit,” Edwards said.
Hovey said that while the production is in a classroom, it feels like a theater.
“Humor is not a trait easily learned,” Hovey said. “Hopefully we’ll leave you with something to think about.”
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