“Tension” in senior capstone

On Friday, May 17, senior Edmond Hood premiered his senior project “Tension,” a series of three 10-minute one-acts, separate in plot but connected in theme: tension in relationships. Hood directed two of the plays, “An Evening Crossword” by Kimberly Megna and “A Bar Scene” by Hood. The final scene, “A Bowl of Soup,” was written by Eric Lane and directed by senior Dana Cordry.

“An Evening Crossword” began when the lights came up on two girls, Kerry and Renee, played by juniors Hailey Edwards and Taylor Blackson, respectively. Kerry was focused on a crossword puzzle and was continuously asking Renee for help. After a moment, their roommate Jackie, played by junior Nora McKirdie, entered the scene in a huff, clearly distressed about something. Jackie explained her panic to her roommates: she had overheard some frat boys talking about how they only invited girls who they thought would “loosen up” with some drinks to their party which their fourth roommate, Maxie (played by freshman Lexi Praxl) had planned to attend. The three bickered about what to do until Jackie yelled, “The girls aren’t going to have a choice!” Suddenly, Maxie entered and it is revealed that she is not particularly nice or well-liked by the other girls. When Maxie exited the room, the girls argued about whether to tell her what Jackie overheard. Maxie entered again before the other girls came to any conclusion and she left before anyone could stop her. The scene ended on a cliffhanger.

The next scene, “A Bar Scene,” starred sophomore O’Ryan Brown as Red, freshman Riley Newton as Noah and junior Maren Dahl as Willow. The three friends were enjoying a night out. It became evident that Willow and Red are in a relationship and that Noah is a longtime friend of Red’s. While Red was in the bathroom, Willow told Noah that she and Red are moving to London together in the fall. Noah was shocked and hurt that Red had not bothered to mention this to him. When Red got back, Willow left and Noah confronted Red with an angry monologue about how betrayed he felt, admitting that he has always had feelings for him. Red responded, “That entire monologue was just such dramatic bullshit…you’re so stuck in your head that you didn’t realize I had a crush on you, too.” But, despite his feelings, he said he was going to move to London with Willow and marry her. Noah became furious and the argument escalated until a physical fight broke out. They stopped only after unintentionally locking eyes. They stared at each other, then hugged. “I love you,” said Red. “I love you, too,” Noah replied. The lighting shifted and the actors returned to the barstools and suddenly time has been rewound. The scene returned to the second Red apologized for not telling Noah his plans to move abroad. This time, Noah responded calmly, and we are made aware that the fight was only in Noah’s head.

“A Bowl of Soup” was the final and perhaps most intense one-act. The set was an apartment kitchen inhabited by two brothers: Eddie, played by senior Jason Lau, and Robbie, played by Hood. Eddie was talking at Robbie about the canned soup he was preparing to make. Robbie was silent. Eddie put the soup on the stove top and remarked to Robbie that he should not have just buzzed him into the apartment without checking to see who it was. What if he had been a murderer? Robbie said nothing. “Are you okay?” asked Eddie. Still, nothing. Eddie continued to drone on at Robbie, eventually mentioning a time capsule that he remembered them burying 20 years ago in the backyard of their childhood home. He said he thought something, maybe a dog, has been trying to dig it up; he heard something digging back there in the night. Eddie moved away from this topic. He talked about kitchenettes, mystery novels and money problems, and at no point did Robbie respond. Then Eddie said, “I understand you’re in pain. His parents. Their son died of AIDS. I understand they’re in pain, they should just think that somebody else might be, too.” He went further, continually referencing somebody named David. He was about to drop it when Robbie said, “It wasn’t a dog. It was me…I keep thinking he is in that jar. David…It’s like a part of me knew, but I just had to see.” Suddenly, he began sobbing hysterically. Eddie embraced his brother and we quickly piece together that Robbie was mad with grief after the death of his partner. When Robbie’s sobs subsided, a timer went off—the soup is done. 

Hood gave an excellent performance and should be congratulated on a marvelous senior capstone.