Fluorescent stage lights gleam on Brodie as he tries to convince his friend Henry to masturbate with him.
The provocative scene from one of six freshman one-acts, featured in Generic Theatre Company’s upcoming freshman showcase, is what actor Nick Ong calls “the climax of ‘Juvenalia.’ ”
“Juvenalia” is a play about the everyday life of college seniors dealing with lust and love. The play focuses on a long Friday evening inside a college dormitory. The two best friends represent two starkly opposite male roles. Brodie, an outspoken, hard-partying alpha male who lacks respect for women, has no apprehensions about cheating on his girlfriend. Henry, a quieter and more studious foil to his best friend’s antics, believes in romance and is in love with Brodie’s girlfriend, holding on to a belief that he can treat her better. Their thoughts on love and lust are expressed through a conversation about sex, love and societal norms.
The second tumultuous one act, “Fast Girls” focuses on a back-and-forth game between two main characters, Lucy and Sydney. The short play depicts the cat-and-mouse game of disdain and desire between the two would-be lovers.
Ong, a freshman actor, does double duty for the show, acting in both “Fast Girls” and “Juvenalia.”
“It was difficult playing two roles, especially since it was my first time acting, but I liked it,” Ong said.
“C’est Moi Degas” chronicles the story of a recently unemployed man, Ed, who lost his job and suddenly wakes up one morning deciding to impersonate the French impressionist artist Edgar Degas. Knowing nothing about art, the french language or culture, or even his new pseudo personality, he feels the two share a common human bond, something much more concrete than a shared name, which consists upon the need of love, coffee and deodorant.
Sticking with the serious themes now common with the Generic Theatre Company, “Belles” portrays the daily strife between four sisters from a broken home with an alcoholic and abusive father.
The oldest sister, Peggy, still lives with their ailing mother in Memphis, Tenn., and pleadingly tries to convince her younger three siblings to come back and visit their sick mother. One of the younger three sisters is battling personal addictions as a workaholic and alcoholic living in Philadelphia and is the most reluctant to return home. The final two sisters, one a free-spirit and the other currently separated from her husband, share in their siblings’ reluctance to go home, fearing the eruption of suppressed memories. The family is diverging in different directions as Peggy desperately struggles to bring them all home.
Each of the one-act plays runs from 10 to 20 minutes and was collectively developed by Generic Theatre Company’s entire freshman class.
“It was nice to watch the cast grow in to the roles and develop on-stage. I am excited to introduce them to the student community,” junior Michael Salgarolo said.
The Freshman Showcase will be held on Sept. 23 and 24 in Lisner Downstage at 7 and 10 p.m.