Meandering through the empty rows of movie theater seats while collecting popcorn and other specimens forfeited to the floor, Avery—played by senior at Rocky Mountain High School Akincana “AK” Webb—pauses after his fellow employee, Sam—played by senior theatre arts major Earl Moore—comments on the status on the praise worthy nature of the film “Avatar.”
“I repeat: I don’t think it’s possible for me to engage in like a rational debate with you about it,” Webb said while sweeping. “It’s like if I said: I love killing babies. Let me try to convince you why killing babies is fun and you should enjoy killing babies.”
Webb and Moore are both actors in the Theatre Arts Department’s production of Anne Baker’s 2013 play “The Flicks”. The play will be performed in the Danny Peterson Theater from April 6 to April 15 with showings on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and matinee showings on Sundays at 2 p.m.
Highly reviewed by several publications including The New York Times and winner of the 2014 Pulitzer for Drama, “The Flicks” centers around the hilarious and messy interactions of three employees—Sam, Avery and Rose, played by sophomore theatre arts major Kelly Barker—who work at a small movie palace.
“You wouldn’t think there would be much at stake at a minimum wage, shitty job when these (characters) don’t know each other and there is nothing obviously at stake for these people,” said 2011 theatre arts major graduate Matt Baltzell, actor playing Dreaming Man/Skylar. “But what I love about the script is that it still is high tension, there still is a lot going on for these losers spinning their wheels, who don’t really have anything in their lives.”
The witty banter and true-to-life dialogue creates a naturalistic atmosphere, according to Director Michael Baltzell, who said that Baker’s “great sense of natural space and dialogue” becomes apparent in the frequent scenes of “sweeping the theater and engaging in conversations.”
The naturalism is also apparent in the set’s design—a theater full of chairs facing the audience which is “self reflecting,” according to Baltzell.
“The naturalism goes back to: we’re looking at each other,” Baltzell said. “So when we’re sitting here we’re looking out at ourselves—it is a mirror—so with that sort of conversation that doesn’t feel manipulated, you can look and see yourself. You can probably see yourself in every single one of the characters.”
Barker explained that the pauses—indicative of the naturalistic speech patterns are therefore common in everyone’s dialogue—”keep you on the edge of your seat.” She noted that each reference Baker sprinkled into the script “has a purpose.”
Tickets are free for students and faculty at the Morrison Center Box office if collected before 1 p.m. on the day of the production. Tickets for students or faculty can be purchased at the doors for $5 or $15 for general admission.