By Annette Espinoza
With an army of 50 plus students split into five teams, an aggressive council of seven arbiters running on caffeine and a 24-hour deadline, students at the College put together and performed several plays that made for yet another wacky night at WIRED.
The biannual event, which was held in the Decker Social Space on Saturday, Sept. 19, expressed unique collaborative work from a dynamic group of student writers, eccentric actors and directors willing to sacrifice a whole 24 hours to craft six plays from scratch and then perform them on stage in front of a live audience.
This troupe of brave students compete to the theatrical death in hopes to win best actress, director, writer and stage manager. This year’s theme was based on websites and included a subgenre of the five senses. Outrageous twists were incorporated into the skits such as a “Gossip Girl” scandal, tweets from arbiters’ Twitter accounts and even treating a normal word like a curse word.
Who knew “Dalai Lama” was such a great filler for an insult?
“We spend weeks in advance thinking of really out-of-the-box things” said arbiter Cat Janis, a sophomore psychology major.
Janis’ tweets were used that night in “A Saturday Binge,” a piece written by Ian Cooley and Brooke Schmidt and directed by Karen Katzin. Cooley and Schimdt took home the prize for best writers.
“A Saturday Binge” was the result of the series of strange requirements the arbiters gave them for their main theme, Netflix. So what happens when the arbiters make the team incorporate the sense of sound, someone who has died and gained an unexpected inheritance and a stuffed Pikachu? An unbearably funny spoof of movies like “She’s All That,” “The Others” and “The Hunger Games.”
“It’s crazy hectic but so much fun, too,” said Katie McLaughlin, junior history and secondary education double major.
McLaughlin arrived on stage with a bedazzled face during her impersonation of Effy in “Saturday Night Binge.”
WIRED is organized by All College Theater and TCNJ Musical Theater, who succeeded in sending waves of laughter throughout Decker’s basement.
“We have no cuts, so everyone who auditions is a part of it,” said head arbiter Jonathan Edmondson, a junior journalism and professional writing major. “It is definitely a unique thing for TCNJ.” As the head arbiter, Edmondson had been up since 8:30 p.m. the night before.
Yet despite the lack of sleep, the cast exemplified great talent and humor.
The piece “The Tasteful Adventures of Craig” required the team to incorporate the following themes: the virtue of temperance, a sense of taste, someone showing up uninvited, a hula hoop, arbiter Jenna Burke’s Twitter, Craigslist.com, and the word “Dalai Lama” to be used as a curse word. In this wacky piece, Kyle Elphicks won best actor for his role as a haunted enthusiast, and was so funny that even the spirits he was conjuring must have been rolling in their graves.
Among the audience members was one of the cofounders of the original WIRED show Christine Scarfuto, who graduated from the College in ’05 and is now the producing associate for Premiere Stages at Kean University.
“I had no idea this was still going on,” Scarfuto said. “It’s amazing to see the amount of people that are a part of it now.”
The event filled the house and ended the night with a laughter-exhausted crowed.
“Everything was so well done considering they only had a day,” said audience member Julia Dzurillay, a freshman journalism and professional writing major.
The outlandishly funny event held up to its name and left no audience member feeling disconnected.
“It’s called WIRED for a reason,” yelled a cast member as he ran through the crowd holding his cardigan out as a cape.