Olions’s one acts venture into the absurd

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By Kirsten Laskey

Nina Saunders, director of the Olions Thespian Club, is taking a back seat on this certain production. While Saunders watches, her students are taking over the stage and therefore, learning what it takes to run a show.

Los Alamos residents can see what the young thespians are capable of during the one act performances.

The show begins at 7 p.m. Friday at the Topper Theatre. The performances continue at 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday as well as Dec. 12, and 13. There will be a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for seniors.

The students not only act, but they also direct and they selected the plays to perform. Ellen Kress selected and directed “Wake-Up Call,” Natasha Roberts chose to direct “English Made Simple,” and “The Variations of the Death of Trotsky,” while Ana Hodgson picked “Cagebirds.”

Saunders said she was impressed with one particular selection, an absurdist play. “I am a great lover of absurdist theatre so I am very excited about that one.”

She added all the plays are unique comedies. Therefore, “it relies on the director to provide humor in the show (and) I think they have done a good job of that.”

Each of the directors had different reasons for selecting their plays. Roberts said, “I like comedy. It has very serious and comical elements and it was a challenge to direct these two aspects and make it work.”

In “English Made Simple,” why people say the things they say and the importance of initial meetings are explored. “

“The Variations of the Death of Trotsky” takes the audience on the multiple deaths of the famous Russian.

Kress said, “I love obscenely absurd things,” which she sees in “Wake-Up Call.” Her goal was to inject meaning amongst the hilarity.

In the play, a man becomes stuck in his different dreams, which leads to mayhem.

Hodgson said she knew she wanted to do a drama and after reading “Cagebirds” she felt awe for it.

In “Cagebirds,” a group of women are unknowingly trapped in a room when a newcomer suddenly appears with a mission to get them out. Just as their reasons for selecting these plays were varied, so was their experience of stepping into the director’s shoes.

Saunders said while she offered supervision and guidance, “I have very little input.”

“I take a much more backseat role,” she added, “I let them drive the show.”

Roberts said being a director was a “very different experience because none of us have directed before.”

Through this process she said she has earned more respect and love for directors and its been “interesting to see the other side.”

Kress said she is excited to show what she and her actors have produced. She added all the plays are going be great.

Directing, Hodgson said, is “hard. It’s a lot of work (but) I had a lot of fun.”

She added she had to work with a cast of eight, some of who have never acted before. But through this process, “we’ve grown to be a family.”