“Three Changes” is a potent mixture of comedy and drama
By Aimee Kidrick
News & Features Editor
The last of the student-produced shows this school year, “Three Changes,” had its three day run May 1-3 at Schwarz Theatre in Loso Hall. Although a decidedly morbid and depressing play, its moments of dark comedy and outstanding acting made the play a worthwhile watch.
Written by playwright Nicky Silver, “Three Changes” focuses on a seemingly happy couple, Nate and Laurel, who live in New York. Things start to go awry when Hal, Nate’s brother, shows up at their place, fresh out of rehab and looking for a place to stay.
Plenty happens during the play. Hal brings in a homeless drug addict, Gordon, to stay at Nate and Laurel’s place as well, while Nate struggles with his affair with a young mistress, Steffi. Through all of this, the relationship between Nate and Hal worsens as Hal establishes his presence more and more in the household. Ultimately, the two brothers, unable to live alongside each other, end up against each other.
Bridger Adkison produced a fine play that had the audience both laughing and incredibly silent at different times. The play has its moments of comedy, such as when Nate stumbles upon a near-naked Gordon, as well as most of the words that come from Steffi’s mouth. These humorous moments, however, are juxtaposed with serious and even disturbing moments as well. For example, Laurel, played by Stephanie Lyon, gave a heartfelt monologue on her failed attempts of having children with Nate. Another scene, and one of the first serious ones of the play after a near-constant stream of dark comedy, featured a one-sided fight between Nate and Hal.
All five characters in the play were interesting and well-acted, but the two brothers were especially intriguing people to watch. Nate, played by Jacob Kuwahara, managed to be an unendearing, bitter man who, despite his flaws, elicited some sympathy from the audience. His last monologue in particularly was beautifully performed. Hal, played by Caleb Stavenger, was far more charismatic than his brother, yet, not unlike his brother, had deeply unpleasant traits that left some audience members frustrated even after the play’s end.
The other three characters were also great. Gordon, played by Andrew Wigginton, was simultaneously a hilarious character to watch and an easy character to dislike, while Steffi, played by Haley Stavenger, was amusingly ditzy. Laurel was easily the most sympathetic character of the five, however; Lyon’s performance of Laurel’s monologue on her miscarried children left some audience members in tears.
Of particular note was the ending of the play, which had a firm conclusion, yet left many unanswered questions. If you hope to see a production of this play in the future somewhere, don’t expect a happy ending. Don’t even remotely hope for anything like that. However, if you want to see a play that mixes comedy and drama effectively and showcases quirky yet serious characters, keep this play in mind. Hopefully, future productions of “Three Changes” will do as good a job with the play as EOU’s actors did.