Fifth Company Lane’s A One-Act Series connects two absurdist plays, contrasting psychological suspense and comedy.
The one-act plays, The Woman Before and The Ugly One, present issues of love and lying, and the conflict between being truth and superficiality.
The Woman Before presents the climax first, followed by flash backs. At times the jump can be confusing, but the disconnection and reconnection of scenes helps build suspense.
Chantel Martin is haunting in her portrayal of Romy Vogtländer, who visits an ex-lover after 24 years.She speaks with an all-knowing tone that separates her from the other characters.
The Ugly One follows a linear plot. The set is white and clean, fixating on visual beauty and perfection throughout. Lette is ostracized at work because of his ugliness. He opts for plastic surgery, transitioning from being loved by one woman to being loved by many..
Four actors play multiple roles, transitioning seamlessly from one character to the next.
The Ugly One’s director, Damien Doepping said he chose to direct a one-act play because “[They] are so complete.”
Both plays will end leaving audiences thinking about what they’ve just watched long after the cast takes their bow.
A One Act Series, plays ay the Rotunda Theatre in Theological Hall from Dec. 1-4 at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees on the Saturday and Sunday
Clarification: The Ugly One is a play that was written by playwright Marius von Mayerberg. The Woman Before was written by Roland Shimmelpfennig.
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