Four performances filled with comedy and drama captured the attention and admiration of their audience. Georgia College theater students put on a workshop at the Black Box Theatre last Saturday with actors and playwrights from The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.
“I have been working to institute a collaboration with the Alliance Theatre and am excited about our prospects,” Karen Berman, chair of the Department of Theatre, said. “Linda Sherbert, who is an MFA [Masters of Fine Arts] classmate of mine from Catholic University, is also the playwriting teacher at Alliance.”
Excerpts of written works by Sherbert and her students Jillian Robertson, Eugenia Williams and HaJ were performed by a combination of Atlanta and GC actors.
Robertson’s “For the Love of Pete” went first. This piece revolves around the relationship between Pete, played by Atlanta actress Darcy Farrington-Ryan, and Smitty, played by theater major Sam Wilson. Smitty pitches an idea to sell custom-made pillows, and although Pete advises him against it, he ignores her advice and proceeds with his plan, dragging Pete down with him. The play is based on true events in Robertson’s life and focuses more on the history and nature of Pete and Smitty’s relationship rather than the pillows themselves.
Up next was “Showhouse” by Sherbert. Based on her experience with working for Veranda, Sherbert’s play aims to show the audience what would happen if a family tried to put itself back together in a fake home. The actions revolve around a showcase being put on by Kate’s mother, Helen, portrayed by Atlanta actress Lorilyn Harper. The tension between Helen and her ex-husband, Richard, played by theater major William Warren, is excellently portrayed by Harper and Warren.
“There’s a lot about a comedy that people think, ‘Oh it’s all funny,’ but I think it is [funny] only if it has something to contrast it,” Harper said, explaining how she taps into a dramatic moment during a comedic play. “For this character and her situation, there’s a lot of love for her husband, who was unfaithful to her. So you have to tap into a time when someone disappointed you or hurt you or changed the way you saw the world but in a bad way.”
The third performance was by Williams, who performed two excerpts from her written work, “Light Bread.” The first and favorite was “The Silent Treatment,” which was about experiences in church and listening to her preacher as a child.
“When I do that piece, it reminds me of when I heard all of that stuff as a child and how it’s confusing for a child, so that was my humorous take on that,” Williams said when explaining the meaning behind the piece.
Her second piece was “The Dream Ain’t Dead,” which recounted the life of Martin Luther King Jr. in a dialogue between two characters, both played by Williams.
Williams describes herself as a storyteller rather than a performer. Students who attended