“Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the show. Goodnight,” director Whitney Rydbeck said to loosen up the crowd before the start of the show.
Laugh Lines, directed by Will Ahrens and Whitney Rydbeck, is the first set of One Act shows in which students perform a selection of one-act plays. The seven plays were chosen from a book of the same title with a collection of short comic plays written by Shel Silverstein, Paul Dooley, Jonathan Rand and more.
The plays deal with relationships, marriage, a daughter’s surprise gift, friendship and dating trouble.
“We chose these plays because they were pretty darn funny and some actually had some heart and you felt empathy for the characters, not just laughs which makes for a good evening,” Rydbeck said. “The students got to act in scenes that are funny but also got to do some that were touching.”
Laugh Lines opened up with Kevin Chrisney and Emily Gray sitting in a waiting room. David, played by Chrisney, is hesitant to speak to Sue, played by Gray, fearing that she will think he’s creepy. But it is his last chance to speak to her because it is his final therapy session. They both admit that they have dreamed of each other’s lives and have a conversation before saying goodbye to each other forever.
The most touching play of the night was “Post-Its” written by Paul Dooley. The play follows a man and a woman, played by Gabriel Rousset Jr. and Michaela Escarcega, through their blossoming relationship communicating only by post-it notes. Their relationship progresses from dating to marriage, children, old age and ultimately death. The play ends with the man discovering a box that contains all the post-it notes he had ever wrote to his wife and him wishing he kept all of hers.
“Post-Its turned out to be my favorite,” Ahrens said. “It wasn’t my favorite at first but as we worked on it in rehearsal it really grew on me and I felt the emotion. It almost made me cry.”
The night concluded with “Check, Please” a play that illustrates a situation many people are familiar with: terrible first dates. From a self-absorbed asshole to a suave ladies man from New Jersey, Jacqueline Ju experienced the worst dates a girl can get. On the opposite side of the stage, Nicholas Bruno also endured his fair share of bad dates. He sits through a crazy football fan, a much older woman and a girl with multiple personalities, one of them being a monkey. After all the dates they both survived, Ju and Bruno’s characters bump into each other as they exit the restaurant and leave together realizing that they are both normal unlike there dates.
Laugh Lines proved to be true to its name by delivering lots of laughs as well as a few heartwarming moments.