From Tuesday Nov. 13 through Saturday Nov. 17, in the Redfern Arts Center at the Wright Theater, director Kristin Riegler brought her adaptation to life of a play called “Stop Kiss.” The show takes place in the late 90s in New York City and follows main character Callie (Heather Hunt, ‘19) who takes in a stranger’s cat, meeting the owner Sara (Mariah Palmer, ‘20). After having one conversation with her, they both hit it off very well and begin to spend more time together. One half of the show then dives into the blossoming relationship between the two girls and highlights the ups and downs. The other half is a mystery circling around a hate crime against the two girls for kissing.
The show covers an array of different emotions, having people laughing at a scene and then tearing up during the next. A special way the show does this and helps tell the story in a more unique way is not telling it in chronological order. The show starts you off with the normal beginning scene. However, every other scene after that starts from the end of the show and works its way backwards, until both sides of the story meet in the middle, where the hate crime occurs. This helps strengthen the ending of the show, because you know what’s going to happen before it already does.
“Stop Kiss” had 6 performances that took place Nov. 13 all the way through the 17. The show was written by Diana Son and has a relatively small cast of 6. Besides Callie and Sara, there’s George (Isaiah Lapierre ‘19), Peter (Antony Gentile ‘19), Mrs. Winsley/Nurse (Emily McIntyre ‘20) and Detective Cole (Benjamin Dionne ‘22).
Dionne, Megan Marcotte, and Leah Mitnitsky thought that overall, the cast did a wonderful job and it was very entertaining and well produced with an interesting plot. When asked which part of the show that they found the most profound/heavy, Dionne said he thought that “The way they handle Sara’s coma is really incredible, like how they tip toe around it.”
Marcotte said, “What I found more profound about the show was the actors [comfort] with the audience. I was really surprised when the actors took off their clothes in front of everybody, because they were students just like everyone else.”
“The most profound part of the play was when Sarah and Callie were talking about the names they were being called,” said Mitnitsky. Both Dionne and Marcotte also agreed that the show should be higher regarded in terms of straight play shows. When being questioned about the narrative order of the show, Dionne explained how: “It’s such an interesting way of telling a story, the emotional whiplash is crazy.”
Marcotte also said, “I had already heard of ‘Stop Kiss,’ so I knew the scenes were out of order, but this specific (version) did a great job during those transitions.” Lastly, Mitnitsky said, “I thought it was cool how every scene took place from a different end of the story. At the end of the play I was able to piece it all together myself.”
Then talking about their favorite parts of the show, Dionne said it was an intense scene: “The best part, in my eyes was when George and Callie argue, it shows a whole different side of fun-loving George.” Marcotte mentioned that her favorite part of the show was, “The scene where Callie and Sara lay in bed together until the sunlight comes through the window. I loved how the orange light slowly lit up the stage as if (the light was coming) through a window.”
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