As the lights go dim, students clad in wide suits, suspenders and flared dresses take center stage and bring their audience back to 1930s Chicago for a broadcasting of a radio play.
On Thursday, Oct. 19, students of LPC and the theater department held a dress rehearsal of their upcoming play “The Water Engine” in the Black Box theater. It was open to students on campus.
The play, which is a radio broadcast set in 1930s Chicago, brings its audience back in time. An aspiring inventor, Charles Lang, hopes to give his sister a better life by creating an engine that runs on water all while keeping greedy lawyers out of his way.
The audience is transported to a live radio broadcasting during “Chicago’s century of progress exposition,” said director Wendy Wisely. Jennifer Gurney and Kevin Simoskevitz, who are in charge of costume and stage, gave the play an extra flair. From costumes to the minimal stage props, they did a fantastic job at setting the stage and turning it into a radio broadcast in the 30s.
Vocals and sound effects made up the whole production of the play. You can hear the passion in the actors’ voices. Charles Lang, played by Sami Nasser, brings his character to life. Watching his performance and listening to his trembling voice when Lang is in danger, and to the rage when his character was furious, Nasser becomes the character and delivers a great performance.
Some actors took on different roles, playing more than one character at a time and portraying each of them flawlessly. Carter Creamer, who appeared as the soapbox speaker, railroad conductor, mailman, and the cop truly gave a stunning performance. He brought each of his characters individually with ease, getting into character from one to the next with smooth transition.
Foley artists Kyle Burgess and Andie Fanelli, who were on stage during the performance, performed the sound effects of the radio play. It was a sight to see, as audience directed their attention towards the two instead of a computer generated sound. In one particular scene where a journalist and his secretary are recording an article on a typewriter, Burgess and Fanelli get to work by being the sound effects for the actors. Fanelli was in charge of the typewriter noises while Burgess flips through papers giving the effect of being in a newsroom.
Overall the cast and crew of “The Water Engine” gave a fantastic performance of David Mamet’s suspense. The actors’ vocal work brought their characters to life, feeling every excitement and anger of their characters.
The play runs from Oct. 20-29 and tickets are sold at the door, but seats are limited. General admission is $15 and $10 for students, staff and seniors. To purchase tickets in advance and for more information on the play visit the school’s website laspositascollege.edu/THEA/schedule.php.