Hard work of cast pays off

Office Hours a hit at Conron Hall

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Kneeling down before him

Courtesy of Ben Singer

I TOLD YOU ... YOUR FLY IS DOWN. The fine actors in the Arts and Humanities Student Council’s production of Office Hours entertained audiences in Conron Hall Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

As predicted, an almost full Conron Hall was present for Tuesday’s opening performance of Office Hours, put on by Arts and Humanities students.

The cast and crew achieved what they had set out to do when they began production last October. From set changes to the quality of acting, the efforts of everyone involved rang evident. The play, written by Norm Foster, is a comedy about how people interact within their office spaces.

Producer Ben Singer and director Marcus Brown started the night off with a charming introduction, with Brown reminding the audience, “Theatre is an art form that is communal in nature.”

The play, which ran for approximately two hours, only had six scenes, with each scene featuring new actors who are placed in an assortment of different situations.

All of the scenes were executed with little error and great enthusiasm by the cast. While none of the actors performed poorly, some stood out with their abilities to bring the audience to a chuckle.

Scene three, featuring the characters Ellie Young (Wendy Yang) and Mark Young (Matt Spataro) received especially positive feedback from the crowd. Spataro did a superb job at playing the stereotypical good-looking, shallow and manipulative male. The adulterous premise of the scene, although not comical at all, is performed in a way that is amusing and entertaining " almost making light of the state of affairs.

Julia Lacasse, who played Rhonda Penny in scene four, did an outstanding job in her role. Rhonda, husband of Lloyd Penny and mother of entertainment lawyer Richard Penny, is an incessant talker. Her sarcasm, hilarity and outfit consisting of the big glasses and white socks with heels " along with the fact she constantly gossips " makes her persona endearing.

Darren Schmidt, who returned for his 16th production at Western, played Artie Barnes, an overweight, in-your-face jockey. He is convinced he only weighs 112 pounds, or admitted to weighing “maybe 115.”

Owner of the racetrack, Stan Thurber played by Kyle Salive, has to confront Artie about his weight issue. Schmidt and Salive had great chemistry on stage and kept the audience laughing.

Throughout the play there were some difficulties with the lighting and at times there would be a faint flickering. Scene transitions were smooth and done efficiently and swiftly overall.

With all its sarcasm and jokes, Office Hours left audiences with a lesson as well as a laugh. Additionally, it reminded us that we are all connected in some way, whether that is through people or by incidences that happen that are beyond our control.

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