After staying awake for over 30 hours, even the most creative minds begin to cultivate some . abnormal ideas. Machinations of the sleep-starved mind may include but certainly are not limited to: a quartet of geriatric pop stars shambling and crooning on a Dr. Seuss-inspired CNN newscast, a game show where the ultimate prize is pregnancy and a pair of refined folk teaming up with Larry the Cable Guy’s poker buddies to solve a murder.
Have the College’s writers gone bat-shit crazy? Or were they just wired?
On Saturday night, All College Theater, Ink and TCNJ Musical Theatre hosted WIRED 2008, a series of six short plays written overnight on Friday by teams of caffeine-driven scribes. After the exhausted writers put their scripts to bed, actors were given approximately 12 hours to learn their lines before performing in front of a packed house in Brower Student Center.
While every piece delivered its share of raunchy, tasteless and clever punch lines, “Ketchup For Your Tea?”, a mock PBS sleuth-piece surrounding the mysterious death of wealthy ketchup entrepreneur Buford Boyd, earned the award for best overall play. When the hearty southern boy meets his demise, his closest of kin, British snob Nigel Percy, played by Rudy Basso, junior English major, is summoned below the Mason Dixon line to take over the factory. While trying to contend with the hassles of running a ketchup factory, as well as his hilariously idiotic wife who believes they are in Japan, he is also charged with the task of avenging his second cousin’s heinous murder.
“Avenge me, avenge me,” Buford’s spirit cries. “Git ‘er done!”
The play, written by Chris Kubak, senior mechanical engineering major, Rebecca Suzan, sophomore English major, and Chris Hallberg, freshman interactve multimedia major, was easily the crowd favorite, despite straying from the sexually and racially charged jokes that were the night’s mainstay.
“We just wrote what we thought would get the best audience response,” Kubak said. “We wanted to make it identifiable but stick to rye humor.”
The premise for all six plays was inspired by the ongoing writer’s strike. In this year’s WIRED, playwrights were asked to invent pilots for six major networks.
Justice was literally served in “Guinevere Chanel: Medieval Fashion Court,” when writers James Introcaso and Lili Daniel, senior communication studies majors, claimed the “Best Script” prize. Chronicling the plight of a peasant girl who couldn’t put together an outfit to save her soul, the play featured appearances from the nymphomaniac Lady Blooming of Dales, a half-rugged beat cop half-dominatrix named Lady Vuitton and the effeminate, fanciful and mesmerizing Duke Tiffany Zales. While clever in nature, the play also contained one of the night’s most outrageous sound bites.
“Please sit down now,” Queen Chanel said. “In the back . like Rosa Parks.”
The writers were forced to contend with several challenging twists by the arbiters throughout the night. Every script had to include the line “I won’t go down in history as the man/woman who killed Punxsutawney Phil!” alluding to the infamous pseudo-psychic groundhog. Arbiter Ashley Gallagher, junior English and secondary education major, was most worried about a twist involving a TV-PG rating.
“Some groups felt they were being limited too much,” Gallagher said. “Some rose to meet the challenge and others chose to ignore it. We had to score accordingly.”
Ignore it they did. In “Suite!” the play’s prominent jackass Wayne insinuates that their homosexual community advisor could probably fit a groundhog up his ass, prompting the forced “Punxsutawney Phil” line. Meanwhile in “Let’s Make A Baby,” the game show’s sarcastically evil host mitigates an argument over which contestant has the smelliest baby maker.
Despite being raunchy as hell, “Let’s Make a Baby” did produce the winner of the night’s best actor award in Pablo Moretto, junior psychology major, who portrayed a haughty Rochester businessman named Bill. The evening’s best actress Evie Yawn, senior finance major, played the loveable dork Becky in “Pepperidge Farm.”