Student monologues show endless possibilities

What do you get when you give a group of creative and talented actors the chance to perform essentially anything they want with no real limits?

MoCo winners Hayley Meibach, John Eldis and Brittany Rivera accept their awards after deliberation. (Photo courtesy of Matt Lupino)

That was the question answered by All College Theatre and Alpha Psi Omega’s Monologue and Scene Competition (referred to as “MoCo” by the competitors) this past Sunday, April 28.

In the event, several students performed whatever their hearts desired — be it serious and heartfelt readings or the raving lunacies of sorority girls gone wrong (yes, the letter you are thinking about).

“MoCo is a great way for students who haven’t had the time to do real acting during the year, they can come in and just do something quick,” graduate student John Eldis said. Eldis placed second in the event for his self-written piece, “Regret.” That was certainly the case for the event’s overall winner.

“This year I hadn’t really performed in anything,” junior civil engineering major Hayley Meibach said. Meibrach won for her reading of always_through’s “Symmetry.”

“This was a chance for me to relax and do something creative and have fun. I’m really happy that we have something like this, where we can just come in for one day and do something,” she said.

While both Eldis and Meibach were recognized for their serious and emotional portrayals, respectively, the comedic element of performance wasn’t left empty-handed in the judging.

“The piece really spoke to me, I just really loved the voice it was in,” senior English and secondary education double major Brittany Rivera said. Rivera placed third for her reading of a monologue from Wade Bradford’s “Curse of the Pharoah’s Kiss.”

For the competitors, the event was a change from their usual performances.

“I’ve done comedic stuff in the past, but this was something really meaningful and poignant to me,” Eldis said. He also performed the reading of the sorority girl’s letter in the competition. “I don’t always get to show the more serious side of my acting, so that was a nice change.”

“In musical theater it’s usually just punchline, punchline, punchline leading up to a song,” Rivera said. “I really just wanted to be myself and express myself through words as opposed to music.”

Aside from the planned activities, the event showed how quickly and cleverly students at the College can perform their crafts. During the judges’ long deliberations before declaring the winners, audience members were entertained by an impromptu performance by the College’s improvisation comedy troupe, The Mixed Signals, along with several short displays of scenes from the theater group’s performances from earlier in the year, all of which were unplanned.

The event, organizers were quick to say, was not limited to those involved in the theater already.

“We want people to be recognized for their appreciation and even unknown talent for theater,” president of Alpha Psi Omega and junior biology major Matt Luppino said. “We want to do things on maybe a smaller level for people who can’t commit to a whole play.”

Students who want to show off their creative stuff may turn out to be glad they did.

“It would be fun to get more people involved, people who aren’t even associated with ACT,” Eldis agreed. “I’m sure there are people out there who would enjoy doing this.”