Vanities provoke nostalgia

While friendships may be strong in high school, they often fade by the time we reach adulthood due to the paths we choose.

“Vanities,” performed Feb. 5-8 in the black box theater and directed by graduate student Meghan Hakey demonstrated this truth perfectly.

The three-scene play was directed, stage managed, designed and performed by students in the Castleton graduate and undergraduate theater arts programs. The show featured a talented trio of females: Nicole Irwin, Julianne O’Connor, and Alessandra Mazzola.

The theater-in-the-round style space was utilized to its fullest potential as the audience was seated on all four sides of the small raised platform. By the time the audience entered, the show had already begun as the three actresses, in character, readied themselves at the vanities stationed around the room.

Typical of a black box production, the set was minimal. The raised platform had quotes from the show painted on as if written in a yearbook. Although the words had already been said, they were still there, reminding the audience that everything they do and say can hang around and become the foundation to build the rest their lives on.

In most shows you know an actor does well because you begin to care about their character. These actresses did well because as the show went on I became more and more upset with their characters: Irwin’s in particular.

Irwin’s character became a perfect house wife with the husband, kids, and home in the suburbs. Throughout the show she made arrogant remarks like “If I had to (insert thing normal people do here) I would just die.” As the play progressed the two other characters become very upset with her innocent view of life. Irwin’s portrayal of this naïve character was spot-on making even the audience members mad about her perfect life.

Mazzola’s character, while more outgoing than the others, remained fairly static. She had relations with several men in her younger years, and as an adult became the owner of an erotic art gallery. As the most avant garde of the three ladies, Mazzola did a great job displaying her perceived superiority over the other two.

O’Connor played the most dynamic character of the three. She began the first scene as an energetic head cheerleader, jumping around the stage while excitedly planning social gatherings. By the end, however, she was a depressed woman without a career who realized all she had learned so far was how to be popular. O’Connor transformed naturally from scene to scene as her character grew which made the performance fun to watch.

I easily empathized with these characters and their struggles. As a college student, it is easy to feel lost, and when someone seems to have it all together you begin to question yourself even more. I have also gone through the experience of growing apart from close friends. Because of how applicable the plot was to college students, this was a great choice of show to perform.

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