“Our Time has provided an atmosphere of unconditional acceptance for its dramatists that manifests in their one-acts. Bruno-Metzger, Jones, Messing, and Sethi have crafted dramas that exude confidence and emphasize the subjective expression of their inner experiences.”
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Our Time bills itself as “an artistic home for people who stutter,” and no better adjective besides “artistic” describes the ingenious dramas four college-bound teenagers have crafted and directed for the second annual showcase of student-written one-acts.
In one, Naudia Vivienne Jones dramatizes the trials and tribulations of an introvert who overcomes her fears of people to win an American Idol-like singing competition. In another, Yoni Messing introduces an Italian-speaking woman and an English-speaking man who use nothing but gesture and facial expression—as well as his frequent misuse of Italian masculine and feminine verbs—to communicate.
In “I, Man on Stage,” after overcoming outer-directed obstacles and finding an inner-directed sense of Self, one man contemplates the meanings of Life, Success, and Survival. Using simple language, percussive movement, and repetitive phrases (altered each time one is spoken), Donn Sethi imparts his message of man having the gift of finding blessings in the storm.
In one more, “So You Think You Know Me,” a high school student struggles with lack of confidence in a world that refuses to acknowledge her hard work. Angelina Bruno-Metzger uses a non-speaking actress to represent the girl during regular encounters with loved ones and friends, and a second actress—in a speaking role—to express the frustration she feels. A wonderful and powerful moment occurs at the end of the drama, when the non-speaking actress speaks for the first time and her other half, emerging from behind her, embraces her. Here, external silent appearance and internal loud frustration are married for the first time. Wow.
In each one-act, the writing is sharp and character-driven, rivaling that of the Masters. What remains salient, the teenagers have written inspired pieces that resonate with child and adult viewers. Our Time has provided an atmosphere of unconditional acceptance for its dramatists that manifests in their one-acts. Bruno-Metzger, Jones, Messing, and Sethi have crafted dramas that exude confidence and emphasize the subjective expression of their inner experiences. Each is a talented dramatist for whom the future holds promise.