Philosophy, Shakespeare and evolutionary science.
“Words, Words, Words,” written by David Ives, combines all three themes into a comedic one-act play, blending scientific theory and witty amusement onstage.
In the play, Dr. Rosenbaum tests the theory that three apes hitting random typewriter keys for an infinite amount of time will almost surely produce Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet.”
“They’re sort of trapped in this existence, and they’re trying to come to terms with their existence while pulling Hamlet out of thin air,” Carson Miller, director of the production, said.
The three chimpanzees, Kafka, Milton and Swift, played by Emily Messing, Dot White and Amanda Demczuk, each embody their own distinct form of intelligence – a dreamer, a realist and a revolutionary.
Their frustrations, reservations and rebellions are all fermented into a single act, raising the questions of mammalian intelligence amidst physical comedy and unavoidable monkey business. The format, open to interpretation by the director, allows for maximum creative potential.
The roles of the three primate test subjects, which have traditionally been played by two male actors and one female, were cast to all female actors in the 14th Grade Players’ production. Assistant Director Julian Sacca-Schaeffer said, despite the gender switch, the actors will still set a tone that connects to the audience.
“They’re multi-faceted characters, and each actor has their own interpretation…they’ve taken their own angle on the characters, which hopefully will prove to be interesting,” Sacca-Schaeffer said.
“Words, Words, Words,” requires scant technical equipment with minimal special effects and props, an ideal production for a college troupe on a tight budget, artistic director Leah Gravius, said.
The 14th Grade Players’ annual Welcome Back One-Acts give interested potential thespian freshmen the chance to share the stage with GW’s theatrically experienced upperclassmen. The two groups come together to produce the first act of the theater year to come.
The Welcome Back One-Acts appear on Lisner Downstage at 8 p.m. on Sept. 29, at 7 and 10 p.m. on Sept. 30 and at 7 and 10 p.m. on Oct. 1.