An overview of the tenth annual playfest

By Maggie Nielsen

     Playfest is the third and final annual production that the theater program produces each year. The idea of the show is simple: five short plays written, directed, and performed by Lane students. Each one showcases the unique talent and personality of each writer, director, and actor.


Just Become a Veterinarian, written by Maya Roman and directed by Hayley Wallenfeldt and Sonia Wanberg

  The narrative is straightforward; a sassy typewriter comes to life and tries to help a struggling writer by constantly critiquing her work. With a witty script and excellently performed repartee, the crowd dissolved into a fit of giggles within the first five minutes.

  The actors had excellent chemistry between them, and the typewriter stood out most especially because of her snide comments and sassy personality. She was biting, sarcastic, cutting and delivered the majority of the laugh lines.

  However, I didn’t think that the sets or costumes were as notable as some of the other plays.

  The overall plot was static, not much happened. The typewriter stayed sassy and the writer never had a fulfilling career. The witty dialogue brought to life by the dynamic chemistry between leading roles made the play enjoyable to watch, and a great opener for the show.


Paw and Order: SVU, written by Gabi Bledsoe and directed by Cara Fitzgerald and Edward Flores

  Emulating a typical crime TV show, two kids go on a mission to find a missing teddy bear, which is a uncomplicated storyline, but reminds the audience of days spent playing dress-up and solving mysteries.

  One of the leads, Detective Tommy, used a strong New York accent, which was a bold choice, but it really brought the whole play together.

  This show was fun and cute, but lacked a lot of the depth and humor that the other plays did. I didn’t find the characters as engrossing or the plot line particularly riveting.

  Overall, this show was lighthearted and amusing and kept me entertained.   


Egg Salad, written by Joey Lagattuta and directed by Elsie Wagner Sherer and Mustiqurr Muhammad

  One of the longer plays, “Egg Salad” continued to be entertaining as its plot progressed due to the comical writing brought to life by an electric cast.

  A farmer and his barnyard animals, each with a distinct personality, live together in relative harmony, until the hen’s eggs go missing. Eventually the animals band together to find and catch the thief, who turns out to be the farmer’s girlfriend!

   As interesting as the plot line was, what really made the show was the playful barnyard characters. A worried hen, a grumpy lamb and a couple of flamboyant pigs brought the play to life as they bickered and went on an adventure together.

  As unique and humorous as the play itself was, the costumes and set were worth noting. Each animal was wearing an oversized onesie that corresponded to their character. This added a slightly comedic element, but also helped the actors become their characters.

  The set design had perches for each animal to sit on and props like eggs, buckets and giant checks that helped tell the story.

  Even though it was longer than the other plays, “Egg Salad” stayed entertaining and hilarious until the end.


Just the Two of Us written by Allison Elkins and directed by Ashley O’Neill

  “Just the Two of Us” was the fourth play in the show and focused on a theme of domestic violence, which was much different than the other comedic plays. In my opinion, this was the standout show.

 The play is set in the 1950’s and revolves around a woman, Janet, and her relationship with her husband, Robert, and friend, Lesley. Janet is a housewife and has a difficult relationship with her controlling husband. As she tries new things with her friend Lesley, she begins to realize how restrictive her husband is and yearns for her freedom.

  This causes tension between all three characters, leading up to the climax of the play, a heated argument between Robert and Lesley.

  I held my breath during this part. The tension on stage was palpable and the audience audibly gasped when Robert hit Lesley and she fell to the ground.

  Not only was the acting great, this was also my favorite set, complete with a couch and a record player and props like real records.

  The costumes are also worth mentioning, as they were very well suited to the characters and the play. They incorporated the costumes into the plot, which really added to the storyline and drew the audience in.

  One of the components of the play was Lesley’s clothing choices, including a new pair of pants, which symbolized her freedom. Lesley and Janet liked them, but Robert was very opposed.

  The script was amazing, and the actors did a great job filling their roles. I was left with chills.


Janitors, written by Avner Tomulet and directed by Morgan Kingsley and Lauren Marut

  Arguably the most bizarre of the collection, “Janitors” was a story about two teenagers stuck in a McDonald’s overnight, coming into contact with a Jollibee Cult and the ghost of “Ray Kroc.”

  The set was creative, designed as an industrial kitchen, like one you might see at a McDonalds. It also included a lot of fun props like ketchup bottles and mops. The cast incorporated these into their acting very well, and it added some whimsy to the story.

  The standout character was the ghost of Ray Kroc, who had me laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.

  As bizarre as the plot was, the comical aspects and the actors made it a great ending to a great show.


  This was my first time ever seeing a Lane production, and I definitely wasn’t disappointed. Playfest was super entertaining and it made me realize how creative our student body is. So if you’re like me, and you’ve never gone before, it’s definitely an experience to have!