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Playwrights’ Festival Showcases Fordham Talent

%E2%80%9CMarianne+Hates+Rice+Pudding%E2%80%9D++had+a+moving+performance+by+junior+Annie+Young+%28Fordham+Experimental+Theatre%29.
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Playwrights’ Festival Showcases Fordham Talent

“Marianne Hates Rice Pudding”  had a moving performance by junior Annie Young (Fordham Experimental Theatre).

“Marianne Hates Rice Pudding” had a moving performance by junior Annie Young (Fordham Experimental Theatre).

“Marianne Hates Rice Pudding” had a moving performance by junior Annie Young (Fordham Experimental Theatre).

“Marianne Hates Rice Pudding” had a moving performance by junior Annie Young (Fordham Experimental Theatre).


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By Shelby Daniel

“Marianne Hates Rice Pudding” had a moving performance by junior Annie Young (Fordham Experimental Theatre).

Fordham Experimental Theater (FET) hosted their annual Playwrights’ Festival over Family Weekend, delighting Fordham students and family members alike. The Festival featured three student-written and directed plays with a wide range of subject matters – from the wacky and lighthearted, to the reality of emotional loss.

The first featured play, “William Miller and the Events Surrounding a Very Disappointing Day in 1844,” written and directed by Nathan Crawford, FCRH ’18, had a doomsday theorist preaching the end of the world which, sadly, never happened. Exploring the aftermath of what went wrong with his prediction while wallowing in self-pity and a tub of vanilla frosting, William (Lily Ochs, FCRH ’20), eventually succumbs to defeat in his great theory and apologizes to his followers for his drastic miscalculation. With musical interludes, a running joke on the pointlessness of Shaker furniture, and crowd interaction involving free “RIP EARTH” t-shirts, “William” gave the audience a brand new and zany approach to the too often revisited doomsday theories, making it fresh and exciting.

Following “William” was “Marianne Hates Rice Pudding.” Despite its quirky title, the play was perhaps the most poignant experience of the night, recalling memories of a better life and of a young love. As the titular character of the show, Annie Young FCRH ’19, gave a moving and intensive performance as the elderly Marianne who, following a stroke, experienced limitations with mobility and could not verbalize her thoughts. Marianne’s internal narration overlayed expertly with the actions of her daughter Laura (Jameson Conners, FCRH ’18), who removed Marianne from supervised care in order to take control of her monetary assets.

Eventually, her warm-hearted caretaker Tony, portrayed by Sean Coffey, FCRH ’18, saved Marianne from a horrendous life of isolation. Written and directed by FET President Rita Paddon, FCRH ’18, “Marianne Hates Rice Pudding,” clearly left the audience touched by the narrative and reminded them why hope is so important when all seems hopeless.

The Festival concluded with “Broken Narrative.” Written and directed by Simon Rodriguez, GSB ’20, the play explores a day in the life of Lewis (Michael Bottei, FCRH ’20) as his actions are influenced by two narrators (Sophia Giudici, FCRH ’19 and Declan Murphy, FCRH ’18). The narrators continuously attempt to influence the naive but lovable Lewis, often times only making things worse in both his friendships and his love life.

Ending with Lewis discovering that he has the ability to make his own choices, it is revealed that the narrators are in fact his divorced parents. A brilliant metaphor for divorce and the fallouts caused by miscommunication, Rodriguez crafted a heartwarming show to round out the night.

What was impressive about this collection of shows and their immense variety was the ability of each of the ensembles to use the oft limited space of the Collins Blackbox Theater. Known for bringing unique experimental elements to their shows, FET did not disappoint with the creativity in delivering unique stories. Ultimately, the Playwrights Festival gave audience members a well rounded and entertaining experience while truly showcasing the immense writing and acting talent of students on campus.

FET’s next show, “The Boys Next Door,” will be showing in the Collins Blackbox Theater from Nov. 9 -11 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 2 p.m.

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Playwrights’ Festival Showcases Fordham Talent