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Thursday, Jun 20, 2024

Two Vibrant Student Pieces Presented in Zoo

Author: Crystalyn Radcliffe

People looking for entertainment were not disappointed by the Hepburn Zoo performance last weekend. Couples in diapers making out, quirky women seducing stuffed animals and a gay strip club bouncer had both actors and audience members bursting into laughter.

Kayte Spector '04 and Zoe Anastassiou '03 each wrote and directed their own plays. Spector's independent project, entitled "The Precious Few," opened and was followed by Anastassiou's project, "30 Hours and 46 Minutes." Combining the titles, the joint performance was entitled "Precious Minutes."

In the first play, Eva, a 35-year- old toy store clerk (Julia Bevan '03) manages to pick up Eric, a young aspiring film-maker (Asa Thomas-Train '05). Believing that their lives are too unimportant, they attempt to construct a more interesting identity for Eva, and in doing so the two become lost in a fantasy world. Ironically, it was the other two actors in "The Precious Few," Charles Goulding '05 and Rebecca Kanengiser '05, two new faces on the Hepburn stage, who were consistently switching identities, while Eva and Eric stayed consistent throughout the play, hinting at Eva's inherent inability to become someone else.

A display of Barbie dolls made an appearance at the beginning of the play and at the very end, emphasizing the idea that we are products of a society that attempts to label and assign value to us based on appearances.

Eva, though much older than Eric, often the more naïve of the two, with a tendency to overreact, was shocked out of her fantasy world at the end. The age difference between the two was noticeable, but not overdone so that it was not perverse to imagine a sexual tension between the two.

Featuring a much less complicated humor, the second act opened with an elderly married couple, sitting awkwardly next to each other in silence. Finally, the old woman initiated conversation with her husband, played by Eric Blacher '05, to ask him if he desired any tea. This sparked a scene in which both wife and husband were yelling at each other, accusing one another of keeping secrets and generally talking in circles.

In the following scene, the audience was presented with a table stacked with what seemed like random items including diapers, canned food and water bottles with straws. This confusion was magnified as a young couple Jasper and Trinity (Dana Allen '04 and Rebecca Martin '04, respectively), proceeded to take off their pants, replacing them with the oversized diapers. For the remainder of the scene, the fairly typical conversation held between the two of them became hilarious as their serious mannerisms contrasted with their absurd, infantile outfits.

The couple was planning on attempting to break the Guinness Book of World Records for longest kissing time.

The next scene opened with yet another couple Mark and Laura, played by Ernie Miller '03 and Amber Hillman '05. We soon found out that Mark is actually a judge from the Guinness Book of World Records, who is actually interested in Laura's sister, Trinity. This odd love triangle and absurd situation is made comical by the serious intention of all the characters involved.

The blocking of this act was very interesting in that once a character was on stage, he or she remained on stage for the duration of the act. This meant that the elderly couple occupied the left corner of the stage, while Jasper and Trinity moved around center stage and Laura and Mark remained stage right. This allowed all the characters, except the elderly couple, to merge at the end of play in one big mass of confusion and a general swapping of loyalties. Lighting helped to focus attention on the present action, while leaving the rest of the characters on stage, motionless in the dark.