Lawrence University’s annual Winter Carnival presented its 1440 Theatre Carnival performance on Saturday, February 7 at the Music-Drama Center in Cloak Theater.
Sponsored by the Lawrence Society of Drama, 1440 consisted of three short performances presented by Lawrence students who had written, directed, and created their own pieces in the last 1,440 minutes, or 24 hours. Though the students did not have much time to prepare and the stress of midterms loomed overhead, Saturday night’s event was entertaining and proved to be a good stress-relief as well as a time to have fun.
The first performance was a soliloquy co-written by senior Portia Turner, sophomore Maddie Scanlan, junior Aiden Campbell and junior Jessica Teuber. The plot revolved around a fictional character, Dr. Rich von Magicman, and his magical emporium. Sophomore Ridley Tankersley, portrayed Dr. Rich, a strange man who for the entire performance was convinced that the audience members were rabbits dressed in human suits. Tankersley, an active member of Lawrence’s improv group who is also involved in many different theatre events, entertained the audience with his witty, sarcastic portrayal of Dr. Rich von Magicman.
The next short performance, “The Proposal,” was written and directed by senior Portia Turner. At first the audience was led to believe that the play was about a man trying to propose to his girlfriend. Junior Aiden Campbell, and sophomore Maddie Scanlan, played the parts of the two main characters.
After thinking the whole time that Aiden’s character was mustering up the courage to propose to Maddie’s character, the audience realized the plot twist. Instead of the play being about a marriage proposal, Turner had strategically and jokingly written the play to be about a man proposing that his wife allow him to hang up an ugly painting in their house. Turner led the audience to think one way, only to lead them to a surprise ending.
Sophomore Sarah Axtell, sophomore Willa Johnson and sophomore Ridley Tankersley wrote the third and final performance, “BURGLE BROS.” The play was performed by four freshmen—Kiah Combs, Sabrina Conteh, Nauman Naseer Khan, and Wouter Van Der Hoeven.
The plot revolved around a group of teens burglarizing cats and then losing them. Combs described the preparation for the play as “nothing I’d ever done before.” Even though she explained her past involvement in many high school plays, the set up of 1440 was very different, “throwing together a play in like eight hours was insane!”
Unlike most traditional student-run plays and performances, the 1440 Theatre performance was a test to see what sort of creativity could be crafted in less than 24 hours. Not only did the scripts need to be written, but props and costumes were also need to portray certain characters’ personalities. Combs added, “For a little while I just got kind of exhausted and never wanted to say my lines again … but it was all worth it in the end when the magic of the theatre took over.” Overall, the annual Winter Carnival performance was a success and was a nice comedic break from studying for midterms.