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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Couple emit sweet nothings from balconies in SE play

Jason Patrick and Erika Kelgin play characters who originally show disinterest when they meet over their apartment balconies in The Balcony Scene. The romantic comedy plays Feb. 15-17 at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees Friday and Saturday in the Roberson Theatre on SE Campus.  Photo by André Green/The Collegian
Jason Patrick and Erika Kelgin play characters who originally show disinterest when they meet over their apartment balconies in The Balcony Scene. The romantic comedy plays Feb. 15-17 at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees Friday and Saturday in the Roberson Theatre on SE Campus. Photo by André Green/The Collegian

By André Green/se news editor

Jason Patrick and Erika Kelgin play characters who originally show disinterest when they meet over their apartment balconies in The Balcony Scene. The romantic comedy plays Feb. 15-17 at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees Friday and Saturday in the Roberson Theatre on SE Campus.  Photo by André Green/The Collegian
Jason Patrick and Erika Kelgin play characters who originally show disinterest when they meet over their apartment balconies in The Balcony Scene. The romantic comedy plays Feb. 15-17 at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees Friday and Saturday in the Roberson Theatre on SE Campus. Photo by André Green/The Collegian

What happens when one mixes romance, comedy, optimism and agoraphobia—a romantic comedy written byFriends executive producer Wil Calhoun.

SE Campus drama department presents that comedic mix in The Balcony Scene in the C.A. Roberson Theatre, Thursday, Feb. 15, through Saturday, Feb. 17.

Balcony, set in present-day Chicago, tells the story of new neighbors Karen Scott and Alvin Newton.

They live in a high rise apartment building and forge a friendship over time from their balconies.

Karen, played by Erika Kelgin, is an attractive optimist who has a new job and new apartment.

Even though she has had a violent past, she refuses to live her life in a shell and quickly attempts to befriend her next-door neighbor any way she can.

“ My character is trying to engage Alvin in conversation because I want him to like me,” she said.

“ I want to be a good neighbor, and I want him to know that,” she said.

But Alvin, a history novelist, wants no part of Karen, or anyone for that matter.

He goes out of his way to show his disinterest in her, initially shying away from conversation and holding back.

Alvin, played by Jason Patrick, also has gone to great lengths to avoid the world he has deemed a threat.

“ Alvin is a recluse who feels safe only in his apartment,” Patrick said.

“ He’s taken himself out of society because he has grown tired of dealing with ignorant people, and he hates change.”

Karen is dealing with a bad break up from her boyfriend Paul, who refuses to leave her alone.

But unlike Alvin, she chooses to go forward and not be mired in misery.

Her upbeat attitude begins to have an impact on Alvin, along with her inquisitive and intrusive nature.

The two slowly begin to form a dialogue that will not only forge a friendship but set them on a collision course with the demons in their pasts.

“ Alvin’s interaction with Paul becomes the turning point in the relationship between the neighbors,” Patrick said.

“ Karen sees something in me I’ve been trying to get away from,” he said.

Balcony has nine scenes, two acts, three actors and two weeks of dress rehearsals to run through a ton of dialogue.

Still the actors said the preparation is not as difficult as they first thought, and they welcome the pressure.

Kelgin and Patrick agreed that the writing style of the play makes it very easy to get into character.

“ The language of the play brings out your motivation,” Patrick said.

Director John Dement decided to do Balcony largely because of the department’s recent and upcoming productions.

With Balcony coming on the heels of last season’s finale, A Christmas Carol, and the upcoming Lil’ Shop of Horrors, Dement wanted a smaller production that would not overly tax his theater students.

“ I didn’t want to have a lot of exhausted people at the end of the semester, and I don’t want to draw all of our resources away from Lil’ Shop,” he said.

Dement said the simplicity of the show is an added bonus that drew him to the production.

“ It is very low tech,” he said. “There is not a lot of sound and not a lot of light. It is a simple show, and it’s very pertinent to our times.”

Dement said the disconnection theme should resonate well with the audience.

“ It’s a show about what happens when you let the jerks of the world get to you,” he said.

“ You have to stay in the game because if all the good people get out, who’s left?” he said.

Patrick said the themes comes through in his character..

“ Every cloud has a silver lining,” he said. “And slowly Karen shows Alvin that she is his.”

The Balcony Scene runs at 8 p.m. each evening with 2 p.m. matinees on both Friday and Saturday afternoons.

Tickets are $5 for general admission and free to all TCC students, faculty and staff.

For more information, contact the theater box office at 817-515-3599.

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