Lauren Hansen is a junior journalism-news major and writes "Lauren's Lookback" for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Lauren at email@example.com.
Ticket and program in hand, I entered Strother Studio Theatre to find that it wasn’t a theater at all. It was the third floor of an apartment building.
Ball State’s Saturday night production of “[sic],” directed by assistant professor Matthew Reeder, sits us down in the apartment building of three New Yorkers who are just trying to survive in the concrete jungle.
Theo, Babette and Frank.
“[sic]” is a fast-paced comedy written by Melissa James Gibson. It is composed of multiple stories from three residents of the third floor of an apartment building: Theo (Nate Shumate), Babette (Sarah Kmiecik) and Frank (Tony Weatherington). Each character has their own bag of issues in life that they battle separately and together. Theo is busy at work writing a song for a theme-park ride, Babette is trying to write a book and Frank is training to become an auctioneer.
All actors took the rhythmic dialogue and created relatable performances of the characters. Shumate’s Theo is neurotic, yet lovable and epitomizes that guy we all know who can never catch a break when it comes to love. His romantic chemistry with Kmiecik when Babette rejects him over and over again is hilarious because it doesn’t exist. Weatherington delivers some of the funniest lines with the attitude that he brings to his character.
This show doesn’t glamorize life. The person you think is “the one” hardly ever is and the dream you studied countless hours to achieve doesn’t happen the way you thought it would. But those mundane everyday life happenings are heightened in this production with comedic actions and an engaging set.
As the audience, we sit in the hallway of the third floor where Theo, Babette and Frank live. Each seat offers a different perspective, as many of the individual plots take place at the same time. So while I’m listening to Babette talk on the phone in her apartment across from me, Frank is to my left practicing his auctioneer skills and Theo is toiling over his keyboard in the apartment next to Babette.
The lighting is as intricate as the dialogue, changing often according to whether the characters are talking to each other or the audience, which happens often. Both the lighting and the sound progress the swift changes among the characters that move this piece along so fast.
The set, much like the story, isn’t an idealized portrayal of life in New York. It is authentic and honest. And hilariously relatable.
You can catch “[sic]” in Strother Theatre Oct. 25 to 29 at 7:30 p.m. Get your tickets through the University Box Office by going in, calling 765-286-8749 or visiting bsu.tix.com. Tickets are $12 for students and $15 for the general public.