Thursday, May 11, 2017

Nativism invades New Hope Stage in 'The Foreigner'

Jacob McCloskey
Staff Writer

Over the weekend of April 28, a studio performance of the Larry Shue play “The Foreigner,” took place, directed by senior Josh Searle. Taking place in rural Georgia, the play follows a very shy man from Britain - played by Jake Perkins - who, after being extremely timid and quiet around the house, gets the excuse of being a foreigner, a man from an exotic foreign country, by the aid of Phoebe Liucci’s character. While this excuse makes it easier to socialize as little as possible with people, not all are pleased. Towards the end of the play, it becomes apparent that Josh Elefante’s character is not too tolerant of foreigners, as the KKK gets involved. Charlie (Jake Perkin’s character), uses a trick to scare off the Klan, and the conflict ultimately resolves.
 The studio performance put on by Mask & Zany was nothing less than exceptional. As a student director, Josh Searle is responsible for overseeing just about everything: directing actors, stage design, costuming, character development, blocking, and more. The final product was impressive in every realm, as the actors came to life while a large draw attended the play on Saturday’s matinee.
 The crowd reacted very positively upon seeing Josh Elefante’s character, Owen, as a Southern accent in combination with a timberland/jeans/flannel/baseball cap brought the character to life. Ben Dupont’s character, David, plays a well dressed family man, finding out that his wife, Catherine, played by Christina Hochberger, is pregnant. Over the course of the play we watch Christina’s character go through many flawlessly-executed crises and towards the end we find that David has actually been an affiliate of the KKK this whole time. Flo Minniti’s character is Betty, a hospitable extroverted southern widow who takes care of the house, with a delivery more accurate and impeccable than anyone in the crowd would have expected. Each actor brought a unique personality to their characters, and together it created something great.

 The play was performed in a manner which exceeded all expectations. The play opened as something humorous, and evolved into something more akin to a historical thriller while keeping a funny and charming tone. The audience left the auditorium shocked and fascinated, but laughing at the same time.

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