Two students have taken on the challenge of directing, producing and performing their own two-man theatre production this semester. Senior Michael Hall, philosophy and political science major from Beavercreek, and junior August Scarpelli, theatre arts major from Sheffield Lake, present “Some Things You Need to Know Before the World Ends (A Final Evening with the Illuminati)” on Oct. 23-24, 2014.
Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. on the 23rd and at 10 p.m. on the 24th, in the Showboat Theatre of the Frohring Performing Arts Building. The play, by Larry Larson and Levi Lee, supplements and enhances the theatre arts department’s main stage production, “Gnit,” which enters the second (and final) weekend of its run, Oct. 24-25.
“Some Things You Need to Know Before the World Ends” combines satirical humor, a dilapidated church and conspiracy theories. Hall plays Reverend Eddie, a protestant minister with a broken mind, and Scarpelli plays his assistant with a broken body, Brother Lawrence. These two men are bunking out in the church as the apocalypse happens around them. Hall and Scarpelli play other characters, in addition to the leading roles, and the audience serves as a congregation for the two. Whether or not the two actually have a congregation to preach to – or if in their mental states they simply believe they do – is left unclear.
A recurring bit throughout the play that really brings the audience in, are the fits and subsequent visions that Reverend Eddie experiences. During one, Brother Lawrence appears as Saint Timothy, a construction worker, and Reverend Eddie comes out as Saint Paul, complete with thick New York accents.
Despite the seemingly farfetched and satirical nature of the play Scarpelli explains, “You can always teach people something with this art form.”
One of the takeaways from Reverend Eddie and Brother Lawrence is, “no matter how bad things get, don’t crawl into the fan blade of the generator” – or at least that’s how it’s worded at the end of the play. The play hits on multiple issues and lessons from humanity, from healing to fear, and they are explored in ways that extend from quickly hitting on the subject to the all-important basketball game at the end.
Hall and Scarpelli decided to tackle the play because they felt like there was a need for the play’s message: that we, just like humanity back when this play was written, feel that we should be always able to heal and fix ourselves and the world, but sometimes we can’t. The play explores both ends of the spectrum, from the question, “Would we hold up if the world ended?” to human perseverance in the darkest times.
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