On Friday, Oct. 11 and Saturday, Oct. 12 the plays by Christopher Williams and Shirely Lauro, respectively, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. They are slated to run roughly ten minutes each.
Both plays center around the subway, with “Token” taking place on a platform and “Rail” set in a subway cart.
Their director, junior Maddie Mondeaux, described “Token” as “a surreal little romance” about two people who meet on a subway platform in New York at 2 a.m. and one reveals that he can read the other’s mind.
“Through this conversation, they strike up a friendship and maybe even a romance even though it seems that they don’t have anything in common,” she said.
“Rail,” on the other hand, centers on a woman who, while feeling lost and disconnected, meets another woman on a subway and undergoes a disturbing experience. “It’s a sort of pseudo-horror [story],” Mondeaux said.
Her high school also introduced her to “Token,” which she later saw performed at a regional acting competition in Oregon.
Mondeaux performed in a production of “Rail” in high school and was intrigued but disagreed with her director’s interpretation. With her own cast of four, plus a stage manager, she is eager to try it out for herself.
“I was really attracted to the script, I think it’s really sweet. I think there’s so much under the surface of [“Token to the Moon”]. It’s such a simple story but the characters are so complex,” she said.
She settled upon pairing them together because of their “unique perspectives on loneliness and alienation and how people attempt to connect and converse with one another, [though] they have really different perspectives on how that’s done and if that works.”
After choosing the plays and proposing them to Theater Advisory Board, Mondeaux and her cast have been preparing them all term.
“I’m a little nervous, but I have really enjoyed working with my cast,” she said. “It’s a range of talent and it’s really exciting to see how it’s come together.”
A major part of the process focused on understanding “the spatial aspect of the two plays,” what with Studio currently short-walled, the stage stationed on a shorter side.
“Part of my process was how to convey, in that space, both the wide expanse of the subway platform and the very claustrophobic space in the subway car,” she said.
She believes that the plays themselves will resonate well with the Knox community because of their focus on connection — something that “resonates with everybody.”