ASC Student-Directed Plays Address Controversial Issues

Rachel Decker
The Paw Print
Adams State College was in for a real treat this past week when the play “Thoughts Become Decisions”, featuring the two student-directed plays “Bang Bang You’re Dead” and “Orange Water Flower”, premiered and wiped out the box office all five nights.
The shows were nothing short of emotional roller coasters that had audience members laughing and crying the whole way through. Both plays touched on subjects that were controversial, but both student directors did a good job of harnessing the feelings and meanings behind the plays.
“Bang Bang You’re Dead”, directed by Travis Hennager, is based on a school shooting, and centers around a young boy that has been tormented by his peers until he reaches his breaking point. Josh, played by David Boncyk, has always been harassed by others because he is not considered popular, and he is not well liked. It seems the only friend he has is his childhood friend Emily, played by Bethany Hernandez.
Josh cannot take the tormenting anymore, and his “dark side”, which Josh calls Shadow, played by Derek Chacon, convinces him that the only way to make the teasing and the insults stop is to kill the ones insulting him. Josh kills his mother and father, and then goes to his high school. He shoots Emily’s boyfriend Michael –played by John Hauser- and then proceeds to kill fellow classmates Katie (Kathryn Nuttle), Jesse (Sarah Oden), Matt (Erik Thurston), and finally his best friend Emily. The play is performed as flashbacks from Josh as the ghosts of the classmates he has killed come back to haunt him as they ask Josh to explain why he did what he did.
It was a very emotional play that had many audience members in tears.
“It was touching,” said freshman Kaylee Gomez. “It made me realize how bullying affects your life. It not only affects your school life but your home life.” Play director Travis Hennager commented in his director’s note that “[‘Bang Bang You’re Dead’] directly shows that even the smallest of our actions can lead to strong reactions from others, often with major consequences.”
The next play, which was directed by Rebecca Fortner, was “Orange Flower Water.” While quite different from “Bang Bang You’re Dead”, the play still hit home to many who have been in similar situations.
“Orange Flower Water” is not only about two married people having an affair together, but about how love can have more control in someone’s life than they intentionally planned.
David Calhoun, played by Mason Miller, is cheating on his wife Cathy (Caty Herrick) with a younger woman named Beth Youngquist (Monty Hall). As the play goes on, the audience learns that David and Beth’s affair has been going on for nearly three years.
Beth is fed up with the way her brash husband Brad (Ian Orbke) treats her, and when she leaves him, Brad tells Cathy that their partners are cheating on them. The play delves into the complications of relationships and love, and how nothing in life is certain.
“It opened my eyes to the truth behind even the happiest-seeming relationships,” said one play-goer, freshman Natasha Vidger.
Rebecca Fortner, play director, said in her director’s note, “It may seem a difficult thing to find a sliver of compassion for these characters; however, just as in life, good people make bad decisions.”
The plays ran from February 7 to 11, and were sold out each night. The actors and directors put all of their effort into creating these wonderfully daring and passionate plays that pushed the limits of theatre by taking on difficult topics. They were heartwarming and gut wrenching, and many expect both college seniors to go on to create plays just as captivating as these. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet