This week at the University Center for the Arts, audiences will get the unique opportunity to see two main stage productions performed by the Theatre Department: â€œbash,â€ which premiered Monday night and â€œSome Girl(s),â€ which premiers tonight at 8 p.m.
In place of the customary single play, these two plays will give the student actors more opportunities, said Walt Jones, the director of both productions.
Both plays were written within the last 10 years by acclaimed writer and director Neil LaBute.
â€œLaBute is very prolific, and heâ€™s willing to paint the purest picture of what people are capable of,â€ Jones said. â€œHeâ€™s relentless.â€
Some New York critics have named LaBute one of todayâ€™s best writers, Jones said.
Both plays offer different experiences, â€œbashâ€ is dark and â€œSome Girl(s)â€ has a lighthearted tone.
â€œbashâ€ is made up of a trio of one-act plays titled â€œIphigenia in Orem,â€ â€œA Gaggle of Saintsâ€ and â€œMedea Redux,â€ with the first act dealing with a businessman who confides a chilling secret to a stranger and the final act that tells of a womanâ€™s relationship with a schoolteacher. All three are based on Greek plays.
But despite the different tones, there are vast similarities between the plays, including how in both LaBute features the evil seen in everyday life through various complex and grim situations.
Jakob Burleson, who plays all-American guy John in â€œbash,â€ says each play conveys a study of humans and how we interact.
â€œThereâ€™s a buildup in all three acts with subtle hints of what might happen, but the audience doesnâ€™t really know whatâ€™s going on,â€ Burleson said. â€œI donâ€™t know if the audience will be ready for the big surprise at the end.â€
â€œAll of the stuff in â€œbashâ€ is as heavy as a rock hitting the floor,â€ Jones said.
â€œSome Girl(s)â€ is a tale about human manipulation featuring a man who, with an impending marriage on the horizon, decides to go on a reconciliatory journey to visit old flames across the country in five different hotel rooms.
The young man, a shallow man described as having â€œsexy eyes,â€ was once notorious for fleeing from his girlfriends with no explanations, and now heâ€™s trying to make amends.
â€œAt face value, he looks like a monster who breaks hearts for fun, but itâ€™s really not much worse than other guys in relationships,â€ said Kryssi Miller, who plays Bobbi. â€œIn this way itâ€™s very relatable to college.â€
Miller, as Bobbi, one of the five â€œgirls,â€ and also the â€œone that got away,â€ says that the script of â€œSome Girl(s)â€ contains many humorous one-liners and digs into other characters.
â€œIâ€™m the girl that gets to say what every girl wishes she could say to a guy,â€ Miller said.
In both plays there are two people maximum on stage at one time, which allows the productions to be very monologue-driven.
â€œThe audience becomes the person that the actors are talking to,â€ Jones said. â€œThe audience becomes the group of friends, the stranger and even a cop.â€
Both plays contain adult language â€“â€“ not appropriate for youth under the age of 17.
UCA beat reporter Anna Baldwin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See the plays
What: Two plays by Neil LaBute, â€œbashâ€ and â€œSome Girl(s)â€
Where: University Dance Theatre, University Center for the Arts
When: â€œbash,â€ Feb. 3, 7 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 5 at 4 p.m.; â€œSome Girl(s),â€ Feb. 2, 4 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 5 at 1 and 9 p.m.
Tickets: $9 for CSU Students, $18 for the public and are available at the UCA ticket office, by phone at 970-491-2787, or online.