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Opinion

A View from the Cliff: “Gi60” at Brooklyn College

Wait a second! Got a minute? A celebration of creativity and controlled chaos is in its 10th season at Brooklyn College. It’s known as Gone in 60 Seconds or Gi60. The festival features dozens of performances running one minute each.

According to producer and artistic director Rose Burnett Bonczek, the U.S. portion is “in conjunction with our colleagues in the U.K. –founder Steve Ansell who created Gi60 via Screaming Media Productions… This year we have 21 actors, seven directors, 80 plays/playwrights and one very brave stage manager (Becca Guskin).”

Bonczek continues, “Directing demands…laser beam focus, as we need to use every one of those 60 seconds…to dissect the play and characters…The actors …are cast in anywhere from eight to 15 plays each, so Gi60 is the ultimate actors’ gymnasium and is the ultimate Concert for Actors.”

Here are a few samples from Thursday’s show—in” The Newspaper of Obliteration” by Matthew Konkel, (Anthony R. Ponzio, director), two regular guys use very irregular weapons as they battle over a newspaper.

In “My Way or the Highway” by Dan Bocchino (Michael Colby Jones, director), renewing a driver’s license is understandably frustrating.

In “St. Crispin’s Day: You Are There” by Jim MacNerland, there’s a page torn from Shakespeare as told by Conor Sullivan, Gary Cowling and Jay Nickerson.

In “It’s the Cow’s Fault” by Dwayne Yancey (Jolie Tong, director) farm animals remind us that the grass is always greener.

In Act II, there’s a very funny confrontation between “Hooligans and Scalawags” by Ramona Floyd (Michael Flanagan, director). In “Unspoken” by David Mucaster (Kirill Sheynerman, director) the metaphorical elephant in the room is confronted in a very special conversation.

In the poignant “Shoebox” by Stacey Lane (Rose Burnett Bonczek director), a woman’s entire life is vocalized by the contents of her shoebox (with Cristina Pitter, Sabrina Cataudella, Vera Khodasevich, Chris Donovan, Walter Petryk, Eugene Solfanelli, Joan Lunoe, Heather Zoll, Mickey Ryan, Samantha Fontana, Schylar Westbrook, Ana Bell, Sergio Mauritz Ang, Julie Orkis).

In “I.D Please” by Jose A. Rivera an unlucky student (Mack Exilus) and an overly diligent guard (Ugo Chukwu) reach an impasse at a heavily-traversed entrance. In “Four and Twenty” by Mark Harvey Levine (Eugene Solfanelli, director), Shakespearean quotes reappear thanks to the ensemble including Helen Huff and Adam Smith.

Gi60’s gateway can be found at www.gi60.blogspot.com. Information on future BrooklynCollege productions can be found at http://depthome.brooklyn.cuny.edu/theater. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.

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