The Paw Print
Adams State College theatre students delivered an unforgettable night of laughter and fun with their latest performance called Almost Offices. Consisting of four short comedies, the student-directed presentation kept the audience entertained throughout the night.
The four plays all centered around the theme of office humor. Each presentation dealt with humorous scenarios that many individuals have most likely experienced if they have ever worked in an office setting. All four plays were student directed for their senior thesis. The first act consisted of the plays directed by senior Jon Schneider.
His two plays, Waiting and Struggle Session, were unique in the aspect that they had darker humor laced within them, making the endings much more unexpected and satisfying.
“Waiting,” says Jon Schneider simply in his director’s note, “is the story of a man who is waiting.”
Indeed it is. The main character Nelson (John Hauser) finds himself stuck in the office of purgatory, waiting for his clearance to go to Heaven. After waiting for thousands of years because of mistakes made in the paperwork, Nelson eventually finds out that he is already in hell, and purgatory was only a lie.
The next play, Struggle Session, is what Schneider calls “a social commentary on society”. The play follows a young woman, Beck (Bethany Hernandez), who has just been fired. In a bizarre turn of events, her previous boss is fired, and she is asked to take her place. Though Beck was angered and upset at her previous boss’s actions before, she realizes that the job is not as easy as it seems, and she is soon put in the same difficult position as her old boss was.
“They were very entertaining,” said freshman Lisa Tyma. “They made me wonder about relationships in a real office”.
“If any of you know me, then you no doubtedly expected a “flash-in-the-pan” slapstick nerd humor and pop-culture reference,” Schneider said. “I hope you were not disappointed”.
After a short 15-minute intermission, the next two shows, directed by senior Brad Greening, brought on the second half of the play. Titled Peer Review and Homeland Security, they brought on a whole new realm of humor.
“When I first read Offices, I knew that I found the scripts on which I wanted to work,” said Greening. “They’re modern, funny, and most importantly, they resonate within me.”
Peer Review brings on the humorous troubles that arise when co-workers must submit reviews of one another. One coworker, Elliot (David Boncyk), ends up getting the worst of the reviews, and after arguing with his peers and boss, he quits. He ends up going off and writing a successful book, proving his other co-workers wrong.
A darker twist of humor was brought into the final play of the night, Homeland Security. A hard-working businessman named Munro (Mark Jones) has lost his briefcase, which he says contains important things that, if in the wrong hands, could send him to jail. Munro spends the entire play searching fervently for his briefcase, questioning everyone that he comes into contact with. The play ends with a double-surprise ending that left the audience in shocked laughter.
“It was funny because the entire time, he’s searching for this briefcase like it’s the end of the world if he can’t find it, but then in the end it’s really not that big of a deal,” says freshman Rachel Heaton. “I really didn’t see that surprise at the end, though. It caught me off guard. But it was good.”
Both seniors directed their plays professionally, and left the audience laughing well into the night. The plays ran from March 5 through March 9 and drew in large crowds every night.
“I loved directing,” said Greening. “Getting to direct those plays was quite an experience. Dramas are what brought me into theatre, and comedies are what kept me here”.