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Davis, California

Friday, May 24, 2024

Fuddy Meers is more than just a funhouse

Last Wednesday night at 8 p.m., I had the privilege of experiencing the play, Fuddy Meers, student run and directed by Gia Battista, at the TCS Building.

While the theater space was unconventional, it provided a creative new approach to spatial interaction between actors and audience. The room was empty except for circular rows of chairs and a nice circle of space in the middle of them. This would normally pose a viewing problem as most plays are performed facing forward, but this challenge was incorporated into the production.

Props must go to the props master. Transforming a small stage with a Harry Potter-style trunk as the main prop into three very separate and distinct scenes was undoubtedly a hard task. The actors only had this one trunk to act alongside, as well as various small objects to convey the situation they were placed in.

The play, a distorted and disturbing version of the comical 2004 movie 50 First Dates starring Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler, told the story of a woman with habitual amnesia. This woman, played by Sarah Stockdale, goes on a wild adventure involving kidnapping, fugitives and a nice chase scene to fully get the whole story behind her disability.

While there are more than just a couple of elements that were admittedly frightening and “scary,” the actors’ performances were flawless. The six-member cast did a fantastic job of bringing the complicated and confusing script to life. This is not an easy feat when you consider how little materials they had to work with – and that includes other actors.

In particular, Alison Stevenson’s portrayal of an elderly woman suffering complications from a stroke and speaking intelligible gibberish for two hours deserves a lot of applause. The character of Gertie must have been daunting, but she did it without a hitch. Funny enough it was from this particular character that the play derived its name, for she pronounced “funny mirrors” as “Fuddy Meers.”

The rest of the cast did a wonderful job, and were all very convincing as the resentful teenager, patient stepfather, slightly deranged convict and psychopathic father/husband.

Overall I thought this was an excellent production, especially sine it is entirely student run and produced. Since I had no idea what to expect, having never heard anything about it before and being a self-proclaimed skeptic, I was more than mildly surprised that I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It is always a treat to see the range of talent among our peers.

Unfortunately, it was more than disappointing to see the lack of attendance that missed this intricate piece of performance. As it was the play’s first performance and a Wednesday, these could be excuses for the poor body count present.

Besides the shameful number of attendees, it was a great play and I truly did have a great time. More than anything else, it was a treat to see the amount of talent that such young actors possess, and again I have to congratulate the whole cast for their amazing performances.

BRITTANY PEARLMAN can be reached at arts@theaggie.org.


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