DramaTech’s latest main stage show, Figments, a comedic farce by Billy St. John, premiered this past Friday, followed immediately by the resident improv group, Let’s Try This.
Figments revolves around playwright Rick Jacobs, who is struggling with a terrible case of writer’s block as he attempts to write his next murder mystery. In the opening scene, four “figments” of his imagination begin to act out his murder mystery play. His thoughts are constantly interrupted by the upstairs tenant, Loni, who he is secretly in love with, his typically overbearing mother, a former girlfriend and a dead father. As the complex plot unfolds, the hilarious characters in Rick’s head help him to resolve the issues that he has with his love life and his play.
There is not a dull moment in the entire show. Every viewer will laughing out loud. The play also is surprisingly relatable. All college students are trying desperately to break away from home and discover who they want to be, and sometimes that can be difficult. Rick faces his overprotective mother and learns to stand on his own two feet, which is a task that every college student eventually has to accomplish.
The acting is superb. Everyone has heard that, “there are no small parts, only small actors,” but there are neither in Figments. Daniel Branton, playing Rick, convincingly portrays a struggling writer dealing with a crazily overactive imagination. He conveys much of the personality of Rick’s character in a way that allows the audience to understand the rather multifaceted play.
Other actors such as Anna Bass, playing the figment of Rick’s secret love, Loni, and Diane Jlelaty, playing Mama, keep the humor alive. Bass captures the audience with her vivacious portrayal of the figment of Loni. Only a freshman, she commands the stage and has the audience nearly falling out of their seats in laughter. Jlelaty manages to portray a good old lady, but it is slightly over-the-top at times.
In the play, Rick learns that life is so much harder because he cannot write the dialogue for other people in his life. Therefore, he takes the normal route and acts out how conversations should go in his head; however, more often than not, those conversations do not turn out exactly how they were planned.
The moral is that, though real life may not always be how it is imagined, it can often be even better than any “figment” of the imagination.
The first act is a little sluggish in the beginning due to the complex plot and unusual characters, but the closing is guaranteed to leave the audience in tears of laughter. The second act fails to meet audience expectations after the hilarious first act, but still manages a comical conclusion that leaves viewers smiling and ranting about the success of the play.
Figments is a must-see for anyone near Tech’s campus. At $10 for a general ticket, $8 for faculty and staff and $5 for students, it is well worth every penny. If anyone needs a pick-me-up after a tough week of studying or just want to laugh for a couple hours, they should make time to go see this show.
DramaTech is the theater group on campus that is completely run by the students of Tech. They put on a variety of shows, including main stage performances, improv comedy and variety acts.