Elm City’s Revives Summer Production for Welcome Week

Sara McGuire

WEST HAVEN–The first drama production of the semester went off without a hitch last Wednesday, Aug. 27.

Elm City Theater Company, a student-run theatrical group on campus, put on an encore presentation of their summer production, 1959 Pink Thunderbird. The play, which is a combination of two one-act pieces by James McLure, attracted an impressive crowd, and not without reason.

The first act of the night was a play entitled Laundry and Bourbon, directed by Elm City regular Allyson Cosgrove. The audience rumbled with laughter throughout the piece, a comedic take on life and love in the south for a woman whose husband, recently returned from Vietnam, hadn’t been himself as of late.

UNH senior Katie Morris starred as Elizabeth, the wife of the returned soldier. Kerry Powers (Hattie) and Allyson Cosgrove (Amy-Lee) also starred in the play as friends of Elizabeth and also feuding enemies, whose antics kept those watching very entertained.

The play takes place entirely on Elizabeth’s back porch, where she attempts to fold laundry and, you’ve guessed it, serves a constant stream of bourbon to her increasingly agitated friends. The close of Laundry and Bourbon brings the audience to realize that love and marriage are about more than just emotion, but also about the strength one must have in the face of adversity.

After intermission, the second play of the evening began, a play called Lone Star. This piece focused on the other side of the story that was recounted in the first act. Directed by Katie Morris, this play stared Jeremy Tortora as Roy, Elizabeth’s husband, as well as Nick Theodoseau (Ray) and Daniel O’Mara (Cletus) as Roy’s brother and fellow townsman, respectively.

This play focused on the struggles returned servicemen and women face back at home. When the audience first meets Roy, he is sitting outside the local bar with a bag of his beverage of choice, Lone Star, while he acts out suicide attempt in a less-than-sober manner. His brother Ray joins him outside and the two converse throughout the majority of the piece, eventually joined by Cletus. The play is just as comedic as the first, and, like the first, Lone Star also covers a serious issue in a very accurate manner.

The audience laughed as the brothers fought and bickered, but could recognize the tone and message of the piece at its close; you can never chose your family, but you can always count on them to help you through anything, regardless of any screw-ups and mistakes (or, in this case, adultery and car accidents).

Another spectacular part of the show were the sets themselves. Built by Brian Morris and Matt Cusmano, the set truly captured the atmosphere of both settings: the backyard porch and the small-town bar. The set pieces were inspired and original, and it was clear to see that a lot of work went into their construction. While the lighting and transitions left something to be desired, the technical aspect of the show and the set were, as a whole, rather fitting.

All in all, the first Elm City Show of the year was a true success. The audience clearly showed its approval in the shear volume of the applause after the show. Over the past few years, this company has gone from a barely noticeable organization to a successful company that is finally getting all the notice and commendation it deserves. If this success continues, the company can certainly look forward to a bright future.