“Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake)”
is quite the intriguing title for quite the intriguing play put on by the Knox College Department of Theatre last weekend.
On Friday night, about 100 people filled the middle section of Harbach Theatre eagerly awaiting what was to come. The small but energetic crowd seemed to fit in perfectly with the simple set, creating an intimate atmosphere. Suddenly the lights went down and the play began. With a personified apartment delivering the play’s first monologue, it was apparent that this play wasn’t going to be normal. And it wasn’t. Yet, at the same time it was very touching. At once, the play was both somber and comedic Ñ a combination that was incredibly powerful.
The play was even able to change freshman Ellie Davis’ mind about an artsy play being dramatically entertaining.
“When it began, it seemed É too avant garde for my taste, but then as it progressed and it started developing meaning, I was like, ‘Wow this is incredible’ and by the end I was completely blown away. It was fantastic.”
Junior Katie Greve commented on the show’s comedy: “Justin Timberlake was definitely my favorite character; comedic genius.” Sophomore Rachel Horne had some positive feedback for actress freshman Miranda Curtis who played a disturbed youth named Janice: “I was really impressed with Miranda. It was just really exceptional acting.” The acting was exceptional all around: senior Missy Preston who played the utterly creepy apartment; sophomore Dakota Stipp who played Justin Timberlake, Harrison Ford, and the Father; sophomore Emily Trevor who played Janice’s terribly nervous mother and senior Alexia Vasilopoulos who played the overbearing Aunt Barbara.
The actors’ involvement in the play began with auditions held during the second week of school. Directly after that, rehearsals began.
“We rehearsed four hours every night, six days a week. And then, on tech week, we did seven days a week,” Curtis said.
To put it simply, their time commitment paid off. All the actors played characters sharply different from the college students that they are. Still, they invigorated these characters with strong, and at times heartbreaking emotion, a tribute to their incredible abilities. A prime example of this was Trevor’s wretched cries in the height of her character’s nervous pitches. These cries did more than any sort of dialogue to demonstrate the dire emotional state of the mother in the play.
When asked about the most difficult part of playing Janice, Curtis said, “[The hardest part was] grasping the anger she felt. I’m very different from her in the sense that she gets angry when she’s upset. I get, ya know, I get sad.” But, like the rest of the cast, Curtis had the empathy to understand her character’s plight, and embodied the persona of an angsty teenager superbly.
For those of you who were unable to see the show, be sure to keep your calendars open for upcoming productions. If they are anywhere near the caliber of “Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake),” they will be well worth your time.