A View from the Cliff: One Act Festival at Brooklyn College

A trio of very different one-act productions marks the end of the 2015-2016 season for the well-respected Brooklyn College Department of Theater. Guided by first year graduate students working on their MFA (Master of Fine Arts), each story makes a unique impression. Though very different, the presentations share the common thread of “escape” with very disparate results.

In the opening play, two young co-workers take a Caribbean vacation. The project is called “Women in Motion,” written by Donald Marguiles and directed by Micahel Raine.

We watch the protagonists aboard Flight 307 for their two-hour journey. They discuss very different expectations for their New Year’s getaway. Both Libby (Annabelle Mayock) and Monica (Alexandra Slater) are convincing as they reveal their dissimilar personalities. In the final scene, it becomes clear that their friendship may not survive the holiday season. The creative team includes Sean McCarthy (sets), Justine Del Grosso (costumes), Itohan Edoloyi (lighting design for all three plays) and Cody Hom (sound design for all three stories).

The second submission is a well-acted dark drama, “Into the Wild Blue” by Ayla Harrison, directed by Joshua Chase Gold. In it we are transported to an un-named southern countryside where a passionate couple has left the main picnic behind.

Both Ellie Moss (Sara Brown) and her boyfriend Lionel (Django Palty) are sharing a very physical moment when a young boy (Bryan Bencivenga) stumbles upon them. From this point until the conclusion, things become darker and more violent. The deliberate effect is disquieting and surprising. Sets and costumes are by Betsy Rugg-Hinds.

The final offering is unusual and quirky. Directed by Tara Elliott and written by Max Posner, it’s titled “The War on Safety.” Poor Curtis (Patrick McCormick) has great difficulty leaving his dorm room. His girlfriend Izabel (Lisa Campbell) has separation issues of her own. A third character (Connor Sheridan), dressed in drag, remains upstage and appears only at intervals. Dozens of postcards, ostensibly written by Curtis’ parents, shed light on the darkest elements of the tale. Sets and costumes are by Heather Konish.

Kudos as well to Rebecca Guskin, Roxanne Goodby, Eugene Solfanelli and the entire staff behind the scenes. For information on this production and next season’s schedule, go to depthome.brooklyn.cuny.edu/theater or call 718-951-5666. As always, save me a seat on the aisle.

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