“Crimes of the Heart” wins its audience with chemistry and Southern charisma
Georgetown College is home of the Georgetown College Maskrafters, who this fall semester pre- sented a play called “Crimes of the Heart” by Beth Henley and directed by George McGee. The first set of performances was Oct. 21 through 23 and the last three will be Oct. 27 through 29 at 8 p.m. This incredible cast is made up of a vast array of our very own talented Georgetown students from all backgrounds and grades, including two new freshmen. Performing this year is Cheryl Brumley (junior), Stella Hundley (freshman), Ethan Smith (senior), Meredith Cave (junior), Jessica Casebolt (freshman) and Shay
McCleavy (sopho- more). Crimes of the Heart is centered on the overall messages of family, life and the consequences that follow each action. The main story plot is about three sisters named Lenny (Brumley), Meg (Cave) and Babe (Casebolt), who reunite in their hometown of Hazlehurst, Mississippi after Babe, the youngest sibling, shoots her abusive husband. Raised amongst a dysfunctional family and having to endure terrible hardships all through their childhoods, these girls must now face unwanted relatives and old relationships that are recurfacing once again. But, while each sister must deal with their own demons, they come together and realize the true love and devotion of family and sisterhood.
Even though the underlying messages are about the horrors of suicide, death and murder, the cynical humor that overlaps keeps the entire performance very light and relatable. What impressed me throughout the production was the outstanding chemistry between the actors and the continuous character interactions on stage. It was unbelievable to see how well trained the actors were when even on parts that required improvisation they didn’t skip a beat. When I asked Meredith Cave about the development of cast connection, she men- tioned the chemistry between her and Ethan during “Undeserved” (short movie coming out in the spring of 2012). Meredith joked around saying that she had pretty much been acting since birth when she used to direct plays in her basement for all the neighborhood kids. Her first major production on stage was in sixth grade, and since then she has been in every Maskrafter performance in the last three years and one LTS production.
The secret that I wanted to find out was the trick to the southern accents. Since the play is set in the deep south of Mississippi, the cast members had to buckle down and find their inner “Gone with the Wind.” Contrary to popular belief, the finding and perfecting of a true southern accent is harder than it appears. However, for some it was almost as easy as just having to channel their own family reunions, according to Meredith Cave. In case creating a huge repertoire of accents is something of interest, I suggest taking one of the many acting and theater classes that Georgetown College offers.
What makes this particular play hit so close to home is that it was originally performed in the Actor’s Theater of Louisville’s Humana Play Festival and was nominated the co- winner of the Great American Play contest in 1979. It was because of this play that the Actor’s Theater of Louisville is considered to be one of the greatest venues of American theater. It has won a Pulitzer Prize and is one of the most well-known and frequently performed plays.
The Maskrafters have once again pulled off a spectacular performance with a terrific cast that kept the audience laughing all night. With its memorable moments and heart- wrenching stories, I can easily see this production as being one of the most successful performances so far on campus. Make sure you don’t miss out on this great opportunity and go see the play!
“Mission Improvable” proves the funnier side of students
This past Saturday, Oct 22, I attended the GAC event ‘Mission Improvable’ at the Grille. Little did I know that I would be treated to non-stop laughs, fun and free high fives by four hilarious agents.
Mission Improvable is a touring group of improv actors known as “agents.” They studied improvisation comedy thirteen years ago at Second City, Improv Olympic and Annoyance Theater and have per- formed all over the United States. The actors literally dress up like secret agents complete with the white shirts, black pants, black ties and sunglasses. They also had secret agent nicknames; for example, two of the agents were named Agent Argyle and Agent Textbook.
Mission Improvable’s show is just that: improvisation. The agents acted out many different skits using suggestions from the audience and making things up on the spot, similar to the show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” At the start of each skit, or “mission,” we held our hands in the air and counted down to start, and almost every mission required our suggestions or participation. Said one agent after they explained the gist of the show: “If we suck, it’s partially your fault!”
There were many highlights of the skits. In one of the beginning skits, three agents stood in a line to be a human spell-check and spelled our suggested words and used them in a sentence. The words included cat, bear, giraffe and assassin. They even let Cameron Nixon, who suggested ‘assassin’, stand in line with them to spell the word. Aside from the fact that the agents misspelled giraffe and assassin, the hilarity grew from there.
The third skit consisted of two custom- ers returning unwanted items to a store. Two agents left the room while we offered up sugges- tions as to what they were returning. When the agents returned, they tried to guess the items with hints from a third agent playing the store clerk. The items we sug- gested included a DVD of “The Bill Cosby Show,” an iron, Kermit the Frog and “Friday” by Rebecca Black. I loved when one agent believed the iron was an article of clothing and guessed it was a ‘leather iron’ and ‘aluminum iron.’
The fourth skit and fifth skits required students to perform with the agents. One was called “Pan Right, Pan Left” and students Wes Moses and Daryl Toney partici- pated. They and two agents acted out a variety of scenes: skydiving (my suggestion), breaking open a piggy bank, talking about the emotion love and a fictional TV show called “Fairy Tale Crime Unit.” They switched between scenes when another agent would yell “Pan right” or “Pan left.” Wes played the Big Bad Wolf and a son skydiving with his dad, while Daryl was a radio host and a boy talking his friend out of breaking his piggy bank. I think I speak for everyone when I say that Wes and Daryl did an amazing job! The fifth skit consisted of two agents frozen from the neck down and requiring two students to move their bodies for them as they portrayed a scene at Mordor from “Lord of the Rings.”
The last skit was the best one of the night. As with the store skit, one agent left the room as we named suggestions. When he returned, he had to guess what he was doing. The activities picked were going to the movies, being in a triathlon and taming a Velociraptor. At the movies: his popcorn was eyeballs, his ticket was a surfboard and the movie was projected on the Venus de Milo (another suggestion by yours truly). In the triathlon: he was catching a Pokémon while running, biking on a raft and swim- ming in acid. Finally, the Velociraptor was Chewbacca and the agent tamed him with a bacon leash in the Golden Age with Mormons. Two agents tried explaining this to their friend through gibberish and hand signals. At the end of the show, we were given more high-dives and stickers. If you want to learn more about Mission Improvable, visit their website missionimprovable.com or their Facebook page. If you attended Saturday’s show, type the password ‘Frosted Flakes’ on their Facebook page and they’ll make a poem out of your name.