Infringement festival: Friday

KTS: Infringement Festival Day 5

As always, I love the King’s Theatrical Society and find that their passion for theatre is so obvious and inspiring. It makes me glad to see so many students come together to pull off an event like this with the degree of professionalism that they do.

“Go Fish” by Susannah Reber

This funny satire opens with two “Hipster Philosophers,” Harris and Morris, playing a game of “Go Fish,” in which they put down a card for every “philosophical” argument they have, and challenge the other one to respond by saying “go fish.” Meanwhile, a girl in a yellow raincoat enters with a fishing rod. The two philosophers do not take kindly to this disturbance and try to dissuade her by claiming she needs a permit, issued by them. Harris further claims that she lacks the proper ensemble to ‘fit in,’ referring to their costume of sweaters, sunglasses, hats and a smoking pipe each. She leaves and returns dressed similarly, now with her own stack of cards, and calling herself Lorris, challenging and mocking them. I found this play to be clever and charming, a lovely opening to the second last day of the festival.

“Driving Ms. Petunia” by Daniel Halpern

Heavier in tone following the opening play, this story features only two characters: old men nearing death who have driven out to the middle of nowhere to do a bunch of drugs before they pass on. The two men have a long history together, and reflect on their lives; facing old demons, unresolved conflicts, past lovers and unspoken apologies. This is a moving story, speckled with just enough humour and cursing to keep the tone balanced, as well as uncannily resembling a pair of grumpy, yet in some ways childish, old men.

“A Play on The Fly”

On the fifth day of the festival, on which five plays were performed, this “detective noir” style improv performance was sure to give a laugh. Framed by an “interview with the playwright,” this improv show was guided by Julia Schultz, interviewer, and Mark Foster, renowned playwright (who has an unrecognized passion for sci-fi). Each scene was guided by an interview question and brief prompt, after which the talented actors filled it in with improvised dialogue and action. The play, “Bourbon Rock-it”, followed bourbon connoisseur, Detective Fasthands as he attempted to solve the case of John Ston’s five murdered family members: first cousin, second cousin, third cousin, fourth cousin and mom. The perp, a five-year-old, five-handed orphan, was given away by his tendency to only do things in fives — including smoke five cigarettes after taking five shots of bourbon. Luckily, Detective Fasthands found the five telling reasons which confirmed the orphan as guilty, in the final showdown in the abandoned bourbon factory.

“Silence” written by Brie Dukeshire and directed by Sylvia Kirkley

This play portrays a mother suffering with depression while her daughter struggles to be supportive and present through her own feelings of hurt and abandonment. It follows over the course of several months, in which the daughter attempts to share her excitement, achievements and get her unresponsive mother to interact. Her mother stays completely silent throughout the play, which I found to be an incredibly powerful choice. Meanwhile, the mother’s internal battle and sense of hope is personified in a speaking role, who responds to her daughter and attempts to encourage the mother to get up, to say something, to do anything. The striking contrast was emphasized by the mother’s all black costume and the personification of inner light in white. I personally loved the blocking choices, especially the way the mother’s inner light appears from behind her chair after the opening lines. This play moved me to tears. It was deeply touching and profoundly insightful.

“Jonah is a Shape-Shifting Alien” by Jacob Hermant

Some necessary comic relief, the final play of the night featured a dinner party of friends, and one unsuspecting guest, Jonah, who, if you hadn’t heard, is a shape-shifting alien. Jonah’s awkward attempts at blending in is reminiscent of a poorly controlled marionette doll, which is a rather impressive bodily control. However, the ending is not what you’d expect, and the twist really put the cherry on top of the boiling hot ice cream. This slapstick-like, physical humour sci-fi was a wonderful close to the fifth night of the festival.

I’m looking forward to discovering which shows have been voted Best Of for tonight’s final set of performances. And, I hope to see another full house!