‘No Exit’ from ACT’s four one-act plays

From comedy to drama to people playing monkeys, All College Theatre (ACT)’s student-directed “An Evening of Shorts, 2009” was nothing if not memorable.

ACT performed four short, one-act plays: “No Exit” by Jean-Paul Sartre, “Words, Words, Words” by David Ives, “The Golf War Widows” by Damian Trasler and “The Apollo of Bellac” by Jean Giraudoux.

If literary-based comedy was what you were after, “Words, Words, Words” was the best. John Cherney, freshman cognitive science major, was hysterical as Milton, the by-the-rules monkey with an adolescent crack in his voice, and Matt Uhrich, senior communication studies major, was entertaining as Swift, the rebel monkey with a cause.

The monkeys main goal was to reproduce “Hamlet” during an experiement by the evil Dr. Rosenberg. Some of the monkeys were less successful than others at producing the Shakespearean classic. When Kafka, played by Kelsey Long, freshman art education major, listed “K” as her only achievement, Milton questioned, “What is that … post modernism?”

“No Exit” was another hit with three souls stuck in a hell of their own making. When no torture or toothbrushes appear (“What could be the point, I ask, of brushing your teeth?” sophomore English major Matt Daley asked in his memorable performance as the valet), Garcin, played by senior English major Rudy Basso, realizes:

“There’s no need for red hot pokers – hell is other people.”

“The Golf War Widows” was third and it also had only three actors in it, like “No Exit,” but the theme was distinctly different. Girl power abounded as three women bonded at the bar of a golf course during their husbands’ company’s annual golf tournament. Jokes about being super heroes (actually being a super hero in one of the wives’ cases), alcoholics and “golf war widows” filled this short play.

The final play, “The Apollo of Bellac,” was slightly strange in subject matter (the main life lesson for women in the audience is to succeed in life by telling men they’re handsome), but the performances, especially of KeriLynne Galli, junior English major, as the clueless girl trying to learn the life lesson and Noah Franc, freshman history major, as the man teaching her, were very well done.

Caroline Russomanno can be reached at russoma4@tcnj.edu.