In Athens, approximately 500 B.C, two Greeks are in a heated debate over the ending of the play they are both writing. Both red in the face and veins bulging from their head, each one cannot decide whether to start a play backwards or forwards. One of them, Hepatitis, the writer, decides to walk forward and ask her “audience” what the ending of her play should be. The other Greek, Diabetes, an actor, becomes furious and decides to pull out his cell phone and call the only person who can deal with this fiasco, Woody Allen.
This breaking of the fourth wall is what makes up most of the new IC Players show, “God/Brainwaves” opening tomorrow. “God” and “Brainwaves” are separate one-act shows focusing on a set of characters having the ultimate writer’s block.
Even though both plays have no correlation between their plots, sophomore Katie Woods, director of both plays, felt they still complement each other’s themes.
“I chose the show ‘God’ because it is a Woody Allen play,” Woods said. “It’s really funny. My high school did it, but they had to do an edited version because of some ‘inappropriate parts.’ So I really wanted the chance to put on this show unedited.”
The interesting aspect about “God” is the fact that it is set in both Ancient Greece and modern day. The play focuses on the absurdity of reality and creates a distortion, commanding the characters to believe whether anything they see or hear is real. This level of absurdity gives “God” its humor.
Junior Joe Roksandic and freshman Nellie Morley both play Diabetes/Phidipedes and Hepatitis respectively. Roksandic’s character’s main goal is to be an actor in the play who will do whatever he can to get the part.
“The character traits of Diabetes is very stereotypical ‘I am the actor and I am going to do whatever I want’ sort of thing,” he said. “It is Woody Allen so everyone is sexually frustrated as well.”
Morley’s character, usually played by a man but changed to a woman for fun, wanted to get involved in a production based on comedy.
“It would make people laugh and that’s what I want to do,” she said.
“Brainwaves,” the first part of the two part act, takes place in the home of author Mark Hunter and his wife. Mark sits at his computer, feverishly typing, trying to get down the words for his next play. As he continues to write, he slowly loses the focus of the plot. Suddenly, Liz, one of his main characters in the play, comes to life, takes over the plot and adds Mark and his wife to the show, taking over their lives.
Freshman Dan Jones, who plays Mark Hunter, said he enjoys playing his character because Mark is at the center of this crazy plot. His favorite aspect is the relationship between his character and his character’s wife, Jones said.
“The most interesting part for me, is that his relationship with his wife completely breaks down because she kind of sees what he has been working on and freaks out,” he said. “This is the most interesting aspect of the story for me even though it does not relate to the main story.”
The play is written by Pat Trevor whom most of the cast and crew believe is a really eccentric and weird guy. They believe it is not a necessarily good play when it comes to conventional storytelling.
“It is almost like an exercise for us because it is outdated and a very strange play to do in Ithaca, in 2009,” Jones said.
While they may be completely different in the level of absurdity, both “God” and “Brainwaves” deal with the struggles and benefits of being a writer. They both portray a sense of passion, and quite possibly, obsession. Woods, however, believes that both plays have something to offer the audience and hopes they will have a good time.
“God is a play written by Woody Allen, you know he is a big name, so I’m really hoping that will draw a crowd,” she said. “In my personal opinion they are both incredibly funny and I hope everyone is able to enjoy it as much as I have.”