When your math, philosophy, religion and english professors are all in one place, students may read it as a bad sign that they could be talking about how you are performing in your courses. However, that was not the case with the Academy Players. At the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, the Academy Players put on a performance of “All in the Timing: Five Short Comedies by David Ives.” The Academy Players are a group of faculty, staff and administrators that come together to put on shows at the Quick Center.
Members of the Academy Players include: associate professor of mathematics Shawn Rafalski and his wife Andrea MacAdam, associate professor of modern languages & literature Jerelyn Johnson, professor of religious studies Paul Lakeland, dean and professor of management at the Dolan School of Business Don Gibson, professor of mathematics Stephen Sawin and his wife Lisa Sawin, and professor of philosophy Dennis Keenan. The five comedies that comprised the night were “Time Flies,” “Sure Thing,” “Foreplay, or The Art of the Fugue,” “The Goodness of Your Heart” and “Degas, C’est Moi.”
The most enjoyable of the five comedies were “Time Flies” and “Sure Thing.” The premise of “Time Flies” is that two mayflies (Rafalski and Johnson) return to one of their lily pads after meeting at a party. After speaking for a while, they turn on the television and find a nature documentary on mayflies narrated by David Attenborough (Lakeland). The comedy ensues when they discover that mayflies only live for about 24 hours and that they only have a few hours left to eat, mate and breed before they die. The funniest part of the comedy was when Rafalski’s mayfly was complaining about not having enough time and a clock bongs off stage several times to signify the passing of several hours.
The comedy “Sure Thing” is about a man (Gibson) that tries to pick up a woman (MacAdam) in a coffee shop. The catch in this comedy is that whenever he messes up something that he says or turns her off, a bell rings off stage and the scene resets to the last point where their conversation was going well. The best sequence of the particular performance was when Gibson said that he had a “sort of girlfriend” and when questioned about it, he responded with “my mother,” reflecting the nervousness many people feel when trying to flirt.
The least enjoyable was “Degas, C’est Moi.” A man (Keenan) wakes up one morning and decides that he is going to be Edgar Degas, the famous French impressionist painter, for the day. He goes about his day like he would if he were Degas and is shocked when he isn’t treated like he’s the famous artist who died nearly a century ago. It was boring watching this man walk around town in shock that he is never recognized.
The players did an excellent job considering the source material they were working with, since the only enjoyable comedies were “Time Flies” and “Sure Thing.” “Foreplay, or The Art of the Fugue” and “The Goodness of Your Heart” somewhat fell flat and “Degas, C’est Moi” was not enjoyable at all. This is by no mean a slight against the players, but the scripts they were working with.
The show was enjoyable, mainly in seeing professors outside of the classroom environment. It is commendable that they were able to pull this off with the added stresses of the classes they’re teaching this semester. Their hard work paid off and the show went off without a hitch.