For the latest production from the theater department, Pomona street gangs invaded the ULV campus, running wild within Dailey Theatre.
The play, “The Sport of My Mad Mother,” is comparable to the 1980s film “Sixteen Candles,” if you add blood, guns and death with a gothic twist.
Before the show even begins, viewers can already tell they are in for a surprise.
Seats are positioned on the stage, and huge nets are suspended overhead. The rest of the set design is minimalistic, with a few chain-link fences and an illuminated door at the back of the set.
The show starts off with a monologue performed by Michael Escañuelas, setting the stage for the rest of the show. Escañuelas plays Steve, the sound technician for the theater where the gang members run amuck.
He hits a single note on a kitchen pot lid, describing how the sound communicates with listeners.
“They let music happen to them,” he said. “They let music happen to them physically.”
From there, the play continues with characters running on and off stage, forming and breaking relationships quicker than the eye can see.
What is really exceptional is the character’s commitment to their roles.
Dodo, played by freshman theater arts major Sierra Taylor, is comedic and extremely entertaining.
Her character is a homeless girl who appears to have a learning disorder.
Throughout the performance, Taylor approaches audience members, interacting by giving high-fives or clapping loudly.
Her character does not speak often, so the depth of character comes from purely physical performance.
Within the first five minutes of the performance, viewers already had a good understanding of the character’s personalities.
Sophomore theater arts major Raymond Del Rio does an excellent job and playing a not so intelligent Fak, who wants so much to be tough.
Del Rio brings vulnerability into his character through movements and variances in sound levels.
At one point, Del Rio raps about becoming rich. The audience seemed to enjoy this part, swaying and laughing with the characters.
The play is very dialogue rich, and features monologues that help move the story forward.
One monologue in particular, performed by freshman theater arts major Jordan Randall, Dean, resonated hard with audiences.
The emotion and intensity heightened as Randall exploded with passion, preaching the importance of self-respect and sympathy towards others.
The ending is shocking, thanks to sophomore theater arts major Stephanie Aguilar, who plays Greta.
The only real complaint of the show is the difficulty to understand the play.
Although the characters perform well and exhaust their energy performing to the audience, some of the intricacies of the show could be explained better.
The play is confusing, and if you are not paying attention the whole time, you will not understand what happened.
The show runs around two hours and 20 minutes, with two intermissions.
Come prepared to interact with the characters, and keep your mind open.
The show features a lot of swearing, and some cigarette smoking, so the theater department advises that only mature audiences attend.
Carly Hill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.