The opening night of the fourth reestablished John C. Edwards UNH Undergraduate Prize Plays took place Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Hennessy Theater. The short plays, shown back-to-back, provided an hour and a half of laughter, shock and entertainment.
The three plays were all written, directed, produced and performed by undergraduate students.
The first play of the night was “The End of the World,” written by Marjorie Boyer and directed by Gwen Higgins, both seniors. The play follows four young friends who are lodging in a family cabin in the woods when their wifi goes down, followed by the power and cell phone service. The four friends are led to believe that the world had ended through an unfinished news alert received by one of the characters through a brief surge of service. The both realistic and comical play examines the pure and innocent reactions of the young friends in a panicked situation. They learn about themselves, each other and humanity during the brief night without power.SCAN-TV
The following play, “Family Game Night,” stuck to its title and followed a mother and father’s desire to spend time playing board games as a family, as one of their daughters had been away at college. “Family Game Night” was written by Sarah A. Gontarski and directed by Trevor Gatcomb, also seniors. A much too familiar scenario for many college students played out on the stage when the family relentlessly bickered back-and-forth about duties, texting and pretty much anything while the parents attempted to bring the family together as it once was before their daughters grew up.
The night ended on a more serious note with “Amour De Le Nuit,” written by Kayla Doig and directed by Tori Skoniecki. “Amour De Ne Nuit” follows two best friends on their dream vacation in Paris, France. The play opens up at an outdoor café in the city where the two girls catch the eye of a young French man. The night and their vacation takes an alarming turn that had the audience on the edge of their seats as they waited to find out what happens to the two girls in a foreign country and what is to come of their friendship.
The original Undergraduate Prize Plays began in the 1970s with the help of David Magidson, department chair at the time, and Professors John Edwards and Gil Davenport, and took place annually for 20 years. Due to changes and funding within the department, the plays ended in 1996 and remained missed up until 2012. During that fall, Edwards and current Department of Theater and Dance Chair David Kaye got the plays up and running again, and students have been working hard to create the much-anticipated plays for the community.
The plays will run through Sunday, Dec. 4. Tickets are $5 and the event is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased online or in person.