Student-drafted comedy to hit Castleton stage following spring break

There’s a mime with the mind of a thief, an older brother with stubborn humor and witty points of view. This brother has a friend with a depressed, love-stricken roommate who talks as if from renaissance times.

These are only a few of the interesting characters portrayed in the up-coming play “Top Floor” opening on April 6.

The creation of “Top Floor” began with an awkward encounter in the boy’s bathroom of Woodruff Hall, when Sam Ducharme, a senior at Castleton, discovered his inspiration for writing this comical piece.

“This is a fun story,” Ducharme said when asked about where his ideas came from.
Ducharme begins to explain an event that took place his sophomore year. He was taking an Intro to Theater Arts class and one of his friends was presenting the art of pantomime to show his classmates.

“He was in the bathroom on the top floor in his costume putting the makeup on,”
Ducharme said. “One of my friends who wasn’t in our class walked in to use the bathroom and saw a clown standing there.”

Ducharme’s face shows excitement when he describes what happened next.

“He got totally bladder-shy and had to about basically walk out, he couldn’t deal with it,” said Ducharme. “I just thought that story was really funny.”

After three years of dedication and imagination Ducharme put together a story full of comical excitement and entertainment, the first student written full-length play to be performed at Castleton’s Fine Arts Center since Ray Charles’s “Ice Cold Vodka” many years ago.
In this play you see laughter, love, brawls, and dramatic family situations.

As you may see drama in the play, the cast members get along great in rehearsals.

“Everyone likes the play,” said Ryan Bailey who plays the character of Mark. “There’s no drama.”

Other cast members seemed to have the same feelings.

“I think it’s a great play for college students. It’s goofy and fun at the same time,” said Andy Donovan who plays the character of Garret.

“It’s very different then most of the comedies that come to Castleton State,” said DeFelice, a co-stage manager. “It’s original.”

“Top Floor” consist of 13 cast members, two stage directors, and Ducharme as the producer and director. Students Karee Chadd and Kelsey Farnsworth are in charge of props and costumes.

The cast meets frequently and spends a lot of their little free time memorizing their lines and rehearsing their parts.
With all the hard work cast members are putting into the play, they have had to deal with one problem.

“One major difficulty has been trying to have rehearsals for a show while a main stage show is going up,” said Ducharme when referring to “Fiddler on the Roof which opened March 19.

Many of the cast members taking part in “Top Floor” were also involved with “Fiddler,” making them have to double the lines they memorize.

Even with this pressure students have continued to have positive energy.

“This is a really good group of kids. They are really dedicated to what they do,” said DeFelice. “They have a great attitude about being here.”

“Top Floor” is charging an admission of $5 to see the show. Half of the earnings will be given to the Rutland Mental Health services and Alpha Psi Omega.

“Top Floor” is a comedy that isn’t your average slapstick-style productions, but instead a combination of real life college-like situations with a innovative and humorous twists.

“I hope people think it’s as funny as I do,” said Ducharme.

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