Encore Weekend’s 10+ Is a Roaring Success

by Kelsey O’Connor

Imagine laughing and crying until your face is streaming with tears, all in a matter of minutes. JC Svec’s Encore Weekend piece 10+ provided for both.

The collection of 10-minute plays was diverse in its entertainment value. The medley included five comedies: “Day’s Last Appointment,” “The Understudy,” “Have a Holly Jolly,” “Mr. Bloopers,” and “The Bloody Cow;” and two dramas: “The Girls and Mrs. Meyers” and “3:38.”

In the comedy “Have a Holly Jolly,” Santa and Mrs. Claus plot to exterminate the corporation that has taken over the North Pole by faking the deaths of the reindeer. There is tangible comedy in this piece, as well as in others, that left the audience laughing out loud. However, underneath the accents, the jokes, and the ridiculous situations lies a deeper message about what our       society is coming to.

In “The Bloody Cow,” a man tries to order a hamburger, but is thwarted by the inescapable path of technology. He cannot make a purchase without first creating an account, and he has to give his name several times. He cannot order exactly what he wants because he has to order only items that have codes.

These plays are funny because they are truthful; it’s really a dark humor.

The dramas, presented after an intermission, changed the tone of the collection entirely. J.C. both established and resolved a rape-murder story, a story about a girl who indirectly caused her parents’ death, and the story of a man who lost his child in ten minutes. These had some people in tears, but all were in shock at the 180-degree change in tone. (cont’d on p. 2)

Deetjen veterans Sarah Finn, Heather Milke, Sam Cleverley, and Kristina Bylancik, along with Thea Flurry and Matt Skolnick, both making their Deetjen debuts, seamlessly brought these stories to life. The group only had two weeks to put the production together, but you would never have known.

Each actor played two, three, and sometimes more roles, often with very different personalities, but each character had been well explored and wholly personified. The actors employed their vocal talents, including Sarah Finn’s hilarious Mrs. Claus impression, Krissy’s more-than-perky “The (cont’d on p. 3) Bloody Cow” adaptation, and Heather Milke’s nasal New York accent in “Mr. Bloopers,” not to mention Sam Cleverley’s enchanting voice, which will probably be its own accent one day. Perhaps the most poignant characters were Jenna (Sarah Finn) and Paul (Matt Skolnick). Each actor presented his or her character with a clarity that allowed for deep exploration in a short performance time.

Overall, 10+ was incredibly well-put-together. Every weekend should be Encore Weekend!

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