Let us entertain you.
The visual and performing arts department explored some work by horror writer H. P. Lovecraft this weekend. In addition to marveling at the talent of the student actors, we were able to discover some lessons in the madness.
The way the four mini-plays were performed was quite different from the norm. Two student narrators, Laura Larsen and Sean Miller, set up each piece as husband/wife hosts who welcomed us into their home before scaring us with their tales.
They then took turns acting out the stories ("devising" is the theater term), performing solo for some twenty minutes each. That's a lot of lines to deliver! More than 2,000 words, as a matter of fact.
Miller was first up, as he recounted the Statement of Randolph Carter, a tale of a pair of men who peruse a mausoleum, with a less-than-successful outcome for one of them. Harley Warren, beyond all reason, chooses to explore an underground crypt. It doesn't work out well for him, as he warns his partner to flee before it's too late.
Via telephone that Warren took with him down below, Carter doesn't hear him after while, but does hear a voice: "You fool, Warren is dead!" I wouldn't hang around. Lesson: Listen to your friends.
Larsen took a turn as a Paris resident living in an apartment on the Rue d’Auseil. She discovers The Music of Erich Zann playing above her. At first it is beautiful, but when she dares enter his apartment, the music turns evil and Zann goes mad.
In the end, as the music lurches out of control, a sudden wind blows out the candles, sends Zann's musical notes out a window, and she fails to capture them before they disappear into the darkness. That's the key here: no lights in the City of Lights, and she escapes the room, building, street, and section of Paris before joining Zann in his madness. She can never find the street again. Lesson: Some things are best forgotten.
Next The White Ship beckoned Miller away from this lighthouse into fantastic new worlds. When he sails for many days, he encounters these new locales, both good and evil, and the sounds and sights alternate accordingly. He experiences heaven and hell both.
At the end, he is sailed to his most beautiful vision yet, only to discover that, hidden there, is his original lighthouse, where the clock says no time has passed (so he's never left). Lesson: The grass isn't always greener.
Finally, Larsen, lost in a rainstorm, seeks shelter in what looks like an abandoned house. The story is the Picture in the House, and of course the house is not empty. An old man, played by student Gregory Dnesco, comes down to the parlor, where the two look over an old book.
The old man is fascinated by a grotesque photo of a sheep cadaver, implying he's done that but yearns for more exotic dissecting. Something hits the picture from above; she realizes it is blood, and looking up, a red spot on the ceiling grows before her eyes. A hellacious clap of thunder jolts us out of our seats and kills all the lights in the theater. Lesson: Don't go into creepy old houses.
We applauded heartily when we stopped shaking, and we left in wonder of a cast of students who somehow pulled it off, in addition to their studies, activities, and all things Tech.
P. S. Involved in the arts when you were here? Shoot me a line.
Season to date: 20.5
On the ground: 1.0
One year ago: Not much