by Lynn Geyer
Seven disgruntled students take over the president’s office at an unnamed college, barring the door against unwanted entry.
They are definitely making a stand as they come with food, sleeping bags and an ever-changing list of demands.
“Admissions,” by Tony Velleta, is a character study of the seven dissenters complicated by hidden prejudices and close quarters.
Firmly ensconced, their only problem is that these insurgents can’t seem to agree on what’s important or the reason for their sit-in besides the impending tuition increase. Their demands range from grant money to more emphasis on the needs of gays, Latinos, Blacks, Asians and the handicapped. In other words, each is interested only their own agenda. This makes for derision among the invaders with tension and fun for the audience.
Directed by theatre instructor Patrick Daugherty, “Admissions” is an interesting slice-of-life show, nicely staged on a realistic set, also designed by Daugherty. The stage is in the middle of the new Black Box theatre, Studio 320, with the audience on each side of the stage. This brings the audience into the action by almost placing them in the president’s office with the dissentients.
This is truly an ensemble cast. The seven include Erin Marshall as Melanie, Deous Gennari as Hank, Jason Lam as Thomas, Sharon Russell as Arletta, Lorenzo Lopez as Ricardo, Ryan W. Quinn as Rob and Andrew Myrick as Julian.
All seven do wonderful jobs of maintaining their characters throughout the short play – only one and a half hours with no intermission – with special kudos to English instructor Russell who stepped into the part of Arletta which was vacated by a departing student who dropped out of the cast just last week.
Special mentions go to veteran actor Gennari, one of the stronger members of the cast along with novice actor Lam, a college international student, who makes his acting debut in the show with a stirring monologue. Myrick and Lopez, also debuting in the show, are especially good in their “anger” scenes as is Quinn in his boyish naiveté and Marshall as the almost overrun member of the team.
Rounding out the cast are Glenn Garnett as Lance, the TV reporter, Kyle Benjamin Trauba in the non-speaking part of a TV cameraman and a live television cameo appearance by Pierce instructor Marty Lobdell as the Governor. Garnett is genuine as the reporter, Trauba knowingly does his small part and Lobdell is quite officious in his role.
“Admissions” has a short run, 7 p.m. each night through May 16. For more information or reservations, call the theatre box office at (253) 964-6710.
See “Admissions” and learn the real truth about the plight of these fervent seven: It doesn’t matter – nobody cares.