By Kevin Shaw
Thanks to WIRED at the College, and the performances of the many talented students involved, the Travers and Wolfe lounge turned into a full out theatre.
On Sept. 22, an attentive audience watched as the stage was set for this season’s WIRED. Late Saturday night, the packed crowd enjoyed four original plays acted out one after the other with a brief intermission. However, there were no ordinary plays, each was written, edited, rehearsed and acted live in the span of 24 hours.
With themes inspired by prompts such as blindly feeling around for imitation human organs inside of a hat, potatoes and lines from the popular song “September” by Earth, Wind, & Fire, the four teams competed against each other to create the best one-day play.
With bragging rights on the table, “A Novel Bunch,” started the night off strong and set the pace for a good competition. The play involved four women detailing their ideal novel romance to one another, and satirizes the likes of “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games” with clever dialogue and hilarious use of props.
As a result of the cast’s passionate acting, “A Novel Bunch” clinched Best Show at the post-performance awards.
Next was “A Couple Fries Short of a Happy Meal,” which was set in a closed McDonald’s. In this play, one employee throws a Halloween party she probably shouldn’t be hosting, and invites some friends she probably shouldn’t have. Awkward hilarity ensues, and it culminates in an exciting chase scene around the audience to the theme of The Benny Hill Show. It might be prevalent to add that a raw potato was involved.
The standout performance by sophomore journalism and professional writing major Suchir Govindarajan earned him the Best Actor award. He absolutely stole the show with a hilarious delivery of each of his lines. Nearly every time he spoke he was met with a roar of laughter from the crowd.
After a brief intermission, “Mixed Feelings” kicked the event into fifth gear with their clever take on Pixar’s “Inside Out.” This play was a typical guy meets girl story –– as in the main characters are named Guy and Girl. Guy, due to some complicated brain trauma, can only perceive his own feelings as personified people.
Among these personifications are Happiness, a happy-go-lucky girl with no filter, Sadness, who’s usually crying and Sex Drive, Guy’s very horny driver and a distributor of condoms. He threw seemingly endless amounts of condom boxes into the crowd, then he threw a slew of individual ones.
Each one of the supporting characters takes over for Guy, each trying to get Girl in their own way, but all of their hilarious attempts end up backfiring horribly. The performances of each and every cast member combined granted “Mixed Feelings” the award for Best Ensemble.
The play’s script earned Evan Snyder, a sophomore chemistry and secondary education dual major, and Alaina Stampe, a sophomore music and psychology double major, the award for best writing.
“The most difficult step was thinking of a concept in such a short amount of time,” Snyder said.
Michael Morack, the director of “Mixed Feelings,” and a senior history and secondary education dual major, gave some insight into his role.
“Directing a WIRED show is an altogether different experience,” Morack said. “Right from the first read you have to hit the ground running for both memorizing lines and character development.”
To cap WIRED, “Intellectual Equals” performed by far the most distinct play with the most in-depth plot overall. The writers, senior marketing majors Katie Marciniak and Taylor Lacaze devised a complex, compelling story about finding love amongst a sea of your own clones.
The dialogue was great throughout, but just the sheer volume of lines that each actor and actress had to memorize was staggering. Senior mathematics and secondary education dual major Alyssa Fanelli’s performance through the whole play earned her the much-deserved award for Best Actress, but she was undeniably accompanied by a host of talented co-stars.
WIRED encourages students to think and work as a team, and brought students who share a love of the arts together.
“Without theater and the arts, you normally wouldn’t be meeting, and it’s brought a lot of us together in a way that nothing else can,” Stampe said. “It’s given me some of the best friends I could ever ask for, so I’m very thankful for that.”