The Department of Theatrical Arts performed a university favorite titled Short Attention Span Theatre April 1in the Noorda Theatre. The production consisted of a plethora of short plays that tell contemporary stories that are relatable and provide comedic relief. Each play lasted 10 to 15 minutes before the next cast took the stage. These plays were written and performed by theatre students.
The lights fade out into darkness. An announcement is made: the language may be offensive to some, mature audience only. Sitting in a room half the size of a racquetball court, the audience hears the shuffle of feet along with the dragging of tables and chairs while everyone anticipates what is about to happen.
The lights fade on; True Dangerfield Hero, the opening play, has begun. Sherriff Dangerfield sits waiting when all of a sudden Deputy Greyves brings in a triple threat, a group of guys who have been busted for smoking a “doobie.” There is nothing subtle about a tough sheriff wanting to do right by the town. He kept his sass hilarious throughout, keeping the attention of the audience. However, the one distraction was that the deputy wore black sweatpants while the other cast members wore black slacks. It would have been better if there was a universal dress code for the cast.
Joseph Nixon, writer of True Dangerfield Hero, brought a contemporary, nuanced feel of life in a small town. His use of one-liners was downright hilarious, especially when he said the jailbirds were from “Prissy Land.” This production was comedic relief that was pulled off perfectly. The King’s Boy, written by Angela Nibley, took place on a pirate ship and drew the hardest laughs from the audience. The play was filled with sound effects that contributed to the whole comedy of the story. The chemistry between the cast was on point because they seemed to connect with each other well. It was the fourth play and by far the most memorable.
Breast Friends by Angela Andrus brought humor to a dark situation: breast cancer. The story takes place in a chemotherapy ward where cancer-ridden patient, Katarina Paige (Brenna Christen), is visited by Faye Tottenam (Megan Gardner). Faye entered the stage dressed in pink from head to toe, which is the color that represents the fight against breast cancer. It also gave way to a quick quip from Katarina where she says that Faye looks like Pepto-Bismol. The chemistry between these two seemed forced throughout the act, but that didn’t deter from it because of Andrus’ ability to take something dark and bring laughter and joy to it.
Overall, the Department of Theatrical Arts, who both wrote and were cast in the plays, created a production that was a perfect blend of humor and cynical satire, making for a splendid date night.