Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Serving the Tarrant County College District

The Collegian

Comedic plays set to debut in double-feature

Those who have ever experienced an awkward bar encounter with someone all too friendly might find great relatability with “Drinking Buddies”, one of the one-act plays taking the SE theater stage come April 17th-19th.

The theater department has taken on a double-feature approach to these plays, two of which are “Mother Figure” and “Drinking Buddies” from Alan Ayckbourn’s five-part play “Confusions,” and the other being “Enterprise” by Brian Parks.

For the cast of “Drinking Buddies” they feel it best represents the companionship of women in moments where they need to unify.

Isara Al-Hilo, acting as Paula, explained that instead of the women in the play being uncomfortable with Harry, she and her costars took a different approach.

“With our characters, we’re kind of just making fun of him rather than being uncomfortable,” she said.

It was an emphasis from the director that Al-Hilo and Aiyana Jones, who acts as Bernice, portray their characters with this tone to uplift their strength together.

“One of the things that Drew wanted to push was we don’t really want the women to feel powerless or uncomfortable,” she said. “He wanted us to play them comfortable enough to laugh at him [Harry] in his face.”

Because of this, it has strong tones of humor for the audience to laugh at as they watch Harry’s increasingly awkward attempt to hit on them.

Joshua Gonzalez, who acts as Harry, explained that getting into that role was difficult because his personality is far different from Harry and much more introverted.

“At the at the end of the day, they’re making fun of me throughout the whole entire script, and it’s just my job to make the audience laugh at how dorky, cringy this guy Harry is, because he’s not good at picking up anybody.”

Belinda Saenz, acting as the bartender, explained that the play was first made during a time when men had more power, so it was important to have this modern take in the 21st century.

“We’re kind of switching that – flipping it a little – to make it more modern and giving the women voices to actually say, ‘No, that’s kind of weird.’”

Al-Hilo is also acting in “Enterprise” which focuses on the sudden financial struggles of a business as executives try to save it overnight.

She explained that it is more unsuspecting that other productions might be, and notes that the ending is interesting.

“It’s very interesting, how things played out. It’s definitely not a regular comedy like with this one [“Drinking Buddies”]. It’s more like, ‘ha-ha funny,’ because this would probably happen in real life.”

Bradley McEntire, SE adjunct instructor of speech and drama, is the director of the production and explained that it is a satire comedy and hopes that it garners some laughs.

“I love poking fun of things that genuinely deserve mockery,” he said. “Stage comedies have a long tradition of being good for this sort of thing.”

He said that the theme of the production is about being swept up in the “machine” of corporate culture.

“‘Enterprise’” has a sort of Kafkaesque pointlessness, this sense of hilarious futility, that appeals to me,” he said.

“Mother Figure” is a tale between a housewife who is handling a messy home by herself while her husband is away and her neighbors who pay a visit to check on her.

Drew Hampton, SE associate professor of drama, said it has much to say about domestic roles.

“I love how often we’ve created new, funny moments,” he said. “There’s a lot of play and experimenting with ideas in our rehearsals.”

Like the other two productions, “Mother Figure” is a comedy, but has themes worthy of understanding.

“Through the laughter though, these plays prompt us to examine social and corporate behavior and values,” he said. “They should go deeper than comedies that are merely created for light-hearted entertainment.”

Showtimes run from 7:30 p.m. and an extra 1:30 p.m. on April 19th. Admissions are pay what you can at SE Campus’ C.A. Roberson Theatre, ESEC 1401.

More to Discover