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"Mere Mortals" offers theatrical variety

Monday, October 1, 2007  
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By Jeremy Schofield

“Mere Mortals,” the first play of the school year, is actually a compilation of five one-act plays. Each act lasts about 15 minutes.

This new twist on the typical Oklahoma Christian University theater production is directed by Phil Reagan, chair of the department of theater.

“It will have the feel of ‘Saturday Night Live’ in the way that it’s the same actors but in different scenes and characters,” Reagan said.

Even with over 30 roles available, only six students were chosen for the performance. Reagan chose these particular students because of their natural ability to handle comedic timing.

“It’s fun for the audience because you get to see the same actors in different roles,” Reagan said.

Although none of the actors are theater majors, they all have experience in theater, and two have performed at Oklahoma Christian in the past.

“What I like about [the play] is they get to do a lot of parts, and they get to work together,” Reagan said.

Although the play is only 90 minutes, the hard work of the cast is evident by the end of the show.

“You end up with a comedy team, and they are much more unified,” Reagan said.

Not only does “Mere Mortals” provide humor, but there is much to be learned from the plot.

The play addresses philosophical questions including God and the fleeting nature of life. For those who choose to look, they can find some depth hidden beneath comedy and silly costumes.

Senior, Matt Miller, plays 8 roles in the performance, but is partial to playing a New York cab driver because of the accent.

“Character is very clear in my mind. I almost immediately see how he should act and speak.” Miller said.

He will act alongside his wife, Rachel, in this play as two may flies that fall in love. This is their first time to perform together as husband and wife.

“It’s pretty easy to play these flies that fall in love because we have been there before,” Miller said. “You have a level of comfort that comes from being married, and it would be difficult to have that without a relationship.”

Sophomore, Tiffany Arnold, is experienced in Oklahoma Christian theater productions, and expressed the difficulty of playing several characters in one performance.

Some of the acts even involve the same character in a modified version.

“I play a character that is uptight right at the beginning of the one-act,” Arnold said. “When I come back up on stage at the end of the act, my character unwinds, so it’s almost a whole different character.”

The play will run the weekend of Oct. 4-6. Tickets are free to the student body, and can be picked up Monday through Friday at the box office.

Following “Mere Mortals,” the department has planned a one-act play competition open to whoever wants to enter.

The one-acts must be written, directed and performed by students.

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