Performance review: Student-directed one-act plays display moving performances and skillful production

The+cast+of+Louder%2C+I+Cant+Hear+You%2C+directed+by+Jay+Ascher+22%2C+put+on+an+excellent+performance.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Meredith+Forman+24%29

The cast of ‘Louder, I Can’t Hear You,’ directed by Jay Ascher ’22, put on an excellent performance. (Photo courtesy of Meredith Forman ’24)

These three student directors only need an hour and a half to leave audiences in laughter and tears.

Last week, on April 7 and 8, Lafayette’s downtown studio theater showcased three one-act plays directed Jay Ascher ’22, Billy DeVito ’22 and Stone Schloss ’22.

Ascher presented his hilarious rendition of “Louder, I Can’t Hear You” by William Gleason. The short play follows the life of a woman whose husband, son and daughter tread over her and never listen to what she has to say.

Meredith Forman ‘24 did an excellent job playing the mother. As the story progresses, her character continues to be ignored by her family after countless attempts at conversation. Forman gracefully built up her anger throughout the performance until the end, when it came erupting out of her in an incredible display of acting.

Forman’s impressive acting was accompanied by a great cast. 

To ensure that she isn’t going crazy, the mother visits a doctor, played by Margot Galopin ‘22. Her search for answers is swiftly shut down when Galopin’s character starts dumping her own troubles on the mother and comically reverses roles with her patient. Galopin brought this role to life with her lively acting and witty comedic timing. Liu ’25 also displayed great acting as the receptionist.

Additionally, Jimmy Zhang ‘22 as the father, Thania Hernandez ‘25 as the daughter and Jeremy Frankel ‘24 as the son skillfully talked over one another in a way that had the whole audience laughing. 

Hats off to Ascher for his fantastic directing and casting in this short play. It was only one act, but it left me wanting a whole show. 

For the next performance, DeVito turned laughter into tears in the best way possible with his interpretation of “The Parade, or Approaching the End of Summer” by Tennessee Williams. This short play is the autobiographical story of a summer affair Williams had with dancer Kip Kiernan. 

I was in awe of the performance that Jefrey Alexander ‘23 gave as Don, who is painfully in love with Dick, played by Peter Canevari ‘23. Alexander’s acting burst with bounds of emotion and passion. Every word spoken had meaning and flowed like poetry.

Don talks his frustrations out with Miriam, played by Eleanor Williams ‘22, a spirited woman who is in love with him. Williams brought the passion just as much as Alexander, and the two of them together had incredible presence and chemistry on stage.

Canevari also displayed great acting in his role as the pompous Dick, accompanied by Anna Zittle ‘22 as his love interest, Wanda.

Another performance featured at this event was “The Unintended Video,” directed by Schloss. “The Unintended Video” was originally supposed to be shown at Lafayette’s 10 Minute Play Festival. The play follows Clarissa, a substitute teacher, as she apologizes for mistakenly taking a photo of a burn victim named Samuel.

Liu gave a strong performance as Clarissa and Kyle Falatko ’22 followed suit with Samuel. This act was small but mighty. 

Though short, these three shows managed to pack so much energy and meaning into them. Well done to everyone involved, and extra kudos to Ascher, DeVito and Schloss for making their artistic visions come to life in these performances.