Five laughs for five one-act plays

College theater production spreads laughs through campus

Marcie Smith as the MC

Josh Kimmel

Marcie Smith dressed as the MC for 'Speed-the-Play'.

Typing monkeys, the playwright David Mamet, a backward world, construction workers with surprising secrets and short-lived mayflies—"Mere Mortals and Other Plays" by David Ives has it all.

Laramie County Community College's theater department is performing this group of unrelated one-act plays, directed by Jason Pasqua, throughout April, and it is definitely an event one cannot miss.

The plays all offer something different as well as all being fun and hilarious. Even though I attended one of the dress rehearsals, the production was tight and well-organized, representing all the hard work and dedication that went into a production like this. I cannot imagine how great and well-polished the final product will be on any one of the numerous showings.

No business like monkey business

The first play, "Words, Words, Words," featuring Erin Williams as Kafka, Aaron Varnum as Swift and Matthew Eleshuck as Milton, was about monkeys who were forced to type into infinity in an experiment to see if they will create "Hamlet."

"Words, Words, Words" was such a laugh, and it kicked off the night with cleverly placed "Hamlet" lines and monkeys acting like monkeys while they tried to figure out why they were in this predicament.

No time to breathe

Words, Words, Words

Josh Kimmel

Erin Williams (left), Arron Varnum (right) rehearse 'Words, Words, Words'.

"Speed-The-Play" followed and featured Marcie Smith as The MC, with Dominic Syracuse, Mark Schaad, Patrick Mitchell, Jillian Janeski and Brooklyn Pratt as The Cast. This was a short, quick play that was a condensed version of a few of Mamet's plays.

This one-act was performed in an intriguing way that kept the audience captivated the whole time.

Worst day

After that was "The Philadelphia," featuring Hannah Jones as Waitress, Mark Schaad as Al and Josh Kimmel as Mark. This short play was about how one guy woke up and cannot get anything he wanted.

This one offered a good laugh in a quirky situation and was relatable to the point that everyone knows what it's like to be confused and have a bad day.

Secrets on a steel girder

Mere Mortals

Josh Kimmel

Johnaton Allen (back), Patrick Mitchell (seated), Dominic Syracuse (front) stand atop wood beams high over the stage as they share thier secrets.

After that was "Mere Mortals," featuring Jonathan Allen as Charlie, Patrick Mitchell as Frank and Syracuse as Joe and three construction workers who reveal their pasts and secrets.

This play was bittersweet with the deep revelation of three guys and their friendship, but it still had a way of staying light and fun with humor scattered throughout the performance.

Love like no tomorrow

To end the evening was "Time Flies," featuring Schaad as Horace, Pratt as May and Dave Hall as Sir David Attenborough. It was about two mayflies who only live 24 hours, and they are on their first date.

This play offered a good final laugh and completed the evening with fun and thoughtfulness. Overall, I thought this group of plays was phenomenal. And even though they were totally unrelated, they went together quite well in one fun, laugh-out-loud event. Considering I saw a dress rehearsal, I cannot wait to see an actual performance in front of a wide variety of audience members.

Ticketing information

This was one play everyone should see. It's all great fun and wonderful entertainment. The play opens on April 12 at 7:30 p.m. and runs April 13-14, 20-21 at 7:30 p.m. and on April 15 at 2 p.m. at the LCCC Playhouse.

Tickets are $10 for adults; $5 for students, seniors and children, and it is intended for mature audiences only.

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Mere Mortals and Other Plays

Playwright David Ives biography at American Theater Wing