Every year the CCM Drama department presents the student produced, written, and directed TRANSMIGRATION 2016 festival of new works. These half-hour productions typically range from hilarious to bizarre; this year the four that I was able to catch on Friday night were all very well executed.
First, was A BRIEF ETERNITY. This surreal parody of time travel and history featured picture-puppets of the founding fathers (and a bottle of Sam Adams), the birth of Adolf Hitler, and a rapping duo of Christopher Columbus and John Smith. The performances by all were great but of special note were Rupert Spraul, Isaac Hickok-Young, and Ryan Garrett. I enjoyed couching the moral message about how man has filtered history in such a funny way. The rest of the cast: Ethan Finder, Alison Sluiter, Madeleine Page-Schmit, Michaela Tropeano, and Colleen Ladrick.
Second was ELLIOTT POPKIN. A third grader named Elliott has a birthday party, with various archetypes attending including a thoroughly unlikable bully. This series of vignettes was thoroughly comedic and a bit of a guilty pleasure – especially the work of Nicholas Heffelfinger. Also starring Alice Skok, Keisha Kemper, Katie Langham, Olivia Passafiume, Gabe Wrobel, Meg Olson, and Gabriella DiVincenzo.
THE HOME had some of the most unique use of lighting and space I’ve seen. Sibling rivalry heats up as family members break into a funeral home to find a valuable ring. Every member of this ensemble held their own and it was one of the most sharply written scripts of the four shows I saw. Kudos to Lauren Carter, Laura McCarthy, Kenzie Clark, Owen Alderson, Carter LaCava, Sydney Martin, and Annie Grove on being my favorite of the night.
Finally, I ended my evening with THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. This bizarre tale of a children’s TV show haunted by the ghost of an elephant had Spencer Lackey and Andrew Iannacci’s sense of humor stamped all over it. There were some very funny gags, some wonderful bits, and some hilarious acting all around a ridiculous but well-formed story. I actually could see this show expanded and entered into Fringe Festivals with a little more backstory and focus. Also featuring Colin Edgar, Katie McDonald, Andrew Ramsey, Joshua Reiter, and Graham Rogers.
There were two other shows that I was unable to see. VICES and COLONY COLLAPSE DISASTER both sounded intriguing and if I hadn’t already been committed elsewhere I would have returned to the Festival for a second night to take them in. VICES featured Rachel Baumgarten, Arielle de Versterre, Emily Walton, Julia Netzer, Carissa Cardy, Mafer Del Real, Derek Kastner, and Jabari Carter. COLONY COLLAPSE DISASTER starred Sarah Durham, Jacqueline Daaleman, Landon Hawkins, James Egbert, Clare Combest, Sydney Ashe, Hannah Kornfeld, Bartley Booz, and Devan Pruitt.
This entertaining event is free of charge every year. If you missed this year’s event, be sure to join me next year in supporting the creative efforts of some of the finest young artists in our city.
Next at CCM: The Drama Department’s Senior Showcase, also free of charge, takes place this Friday at 2pm and 7pm in the Patricia Corbett Theatre. Click here for more information.