The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Comedy ‘playlets’ bring car to stage

NW+students+%28back+row%29+Tavin+Bothel%2C+Jesse+Martinez+and+Brian+Johnson+and+%28front+row%29+Michael+Matthews%2C+Katie+de+Groh+and+Rylee+Jones+use+the+car+for+all+nine+playlets.
NW students (back row) Tavin Bothel, Jesse Martinez and Brian Johnson and (front row) Michael Matthews, Katie de Groh and Rylee Jones use the car for all nine playlets. Photo by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

By Dylan Bradley/campus editor

Theater Northwest will bring comedy to the stage Nov. 29-Dec. 3 with Marcus is Walking: Scenes from the Road.

The production will consist of nine playlets, each with a beginning, middle and end, director Brent Alford said.

“The only thing they have in common is that they all take place in a car,” he said.

The play was written by Joan Ackermann in celebration of the 100th year of the car, Alford said, but the reason he chose the play was because it gives each actor the chance to stretch their skills and play multiple characters.

NW student Brian Johnson will play five different characters.

NW student Brian Johnson takes the wheel as NW student Jesse Martinez climbs to the passenger seat. Johnson plays five different characters in the production.
NW student Brian Johnson takes the wheel as NW student Jesse Martinez climbs to the passenger seat. Johnson plays five different characters in the production.
Photo by Peter Matthews/The Collegian

The biggest challenge was making sure each character is distinct from the other in each scene, he said. For instance, in one scene he plays a nervous character then a romantic character in the next scene.

“We have to make it to where they’re different characters in the backseat of this car so it doesn’t feel like the audience is just watching the same two groups of characters,” Johnson said.

NW student Tavin Bothel is most nervous about the title scene, Marcus is Walking.

“It’s more dependent on me than the other scenes I have,” he said. “If that one doesn’t connect with the audience, then that’s on me. I just want people to have fun.”

The comedy genre is a step out of Bothel’s comfort zone, he said. Normally, he plays nervous or nerdy-type characters.

“It’s like a different pair of shoes,” he said. “You have to learn how to walk in them a little bit. It’s like me wearing heels for the first time.”

Another new challenge for the actors will be the intimacy created by the stage setup. The studio format is only a few feet away from the audience as opposed to the traditional 12 to 14 feet, Alford said.

“It gives the students the opportunity to work in a close, intimate setting while working on material they are not accustomed to,” he said. “It’s designed to stretch their skills.”

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 2 and 2 p.m. Dec. 3. For more information, contact Alford at brent.alford@tccd.edu or 817-515-7797.

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