Zara Kulish, Staff Writer
This month, the Saint Martin’s University theatre department opened with two student-directed one-act plays. Both plays are comedies with a twist. The first performance was “The Real Inspector Hound,” written by Tom Stoppard and directed by Charlotte Darling. Darling is a theatre and music major in her junior year here at Saint Martin’s. This was her first time directing a play after acting in and assisting with costuming for several plays in the past. “The Real Inspector Hound” takes place in a theater, with two critics watching the who-done-it action, and carrying on a discussion of their own personal matters. The lines between the production and the play within it get a little blurry, with the whole thing taking on the British country-manor-feel of where the interior play is set. In addition to the play within a play dynamic, there is some significant confusion of identities before the solution to the mystery is revealed.
The second production is titled “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche,” written by Evan Linder and Andrew Hobgood, and directed by Felicity Pickens. Pickens is a junior theatre and music major, expecting to graduate in the spring of 2019 with a bachelor of arts in both theatre and music. This is her directorial debut, though she has acted in several productions and has many technical credits as well, including assistant stage manager for “The Drowsy Chaperone.” “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche” takes place in a community center in the Midwest in 1956. The community center is the meeting place for the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein. This is a group of widows who meet every year for a quiche breakfast and share a strange passion for eggs. This particular year, they get locked into the community center by a high-tech steel security door. As the play goes on, revelations are made, and tensions arise. There is a lot of audience participation in this show, right from the beginning, with the cast members welcoming the audience to this meeting of the Susan B. Anthony Society for the Sisters of Gertrude Stein.
Blaise Ingram, one of the actresses who was in both plays, shed some light on the work that went into the productions. Each play had rehearsal two days a week, plus run-throughs on Saturdays that started back in October. Ingram plays Mrs. Drudge, the maid who hears everything in the “Real Inspector Hound,” and in “5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche,” she brings to life the character of Ginny Cadbury, the only one of the “widows” who is not from America. To perfect the British accent of her character, Ingram had to do independent research and seek out outside resources.
Hard work was put in by all involved in the plays, as evident in the spectacular shows put on by the theatre department here at Saint Martin’s.