The directing thesis of senior Michael Frederick, “This Is All Fiction,” combined traditional theater with a film presentation with which the cast interacted. The performances were staged Oct. 16, 17 and 18 in the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theatre. The play required only three actors – Patrick Towles, who played the narrator; Jordan Randall, who played Dim; and Michelle Cram, who played Hope. After the show, the actors and writer Kris Bicknell, held a short 15-minute question and answer session.
Michael Frederick, senior directing major, presented the world premiere of “This is All Fiction” last weekend at the Jane Dibbell Cabaret Theatre at the University of La Verne.
The half-hour long play was Frederick’s senior directing thesis.
“It was very short but very entertaining,” Erica Hernandez, Pasadena City College student, said.
“This is All Fiction” is a play about a world filled with rules, unfairness and love.
While everyday people deal with these elements in real life, these elements play critical roles in the lives of Dim and Hope.
Dim, played by Jordan Randall, is created blind intentionally by the narrator, played by Patrick Towels, who contends that there is safety in ignorance.
“What he can’t see must not exist,” the narrator explains in the spotlight as he presents his creation to the audience.
Dim was created to know nothing and to be satisfied with that but soon realizes that there is something more he wants.
To the narrator’s dismay, he learns Dim is talking about Hope.
Created mute, Hope, played by Michelle Cram, was given intelligence but was instructed to always avoid Dim. She clearly did not, however.
Although she cannot speak to Dim, and he cannot see her, they somehow fall in love with each other.
Frustrated, the narrator sits at his desk, contemplating how his plan could go so wrong.
Audience members can literally see and hear what is going through his head with the help of a video projected against a wall next to him.
The video shows him in the center of his creations, listening to himself say, “There is safety in ignorance.”
After a change of heart, the narrator decides to give Dim his eyesight and Hope her voice.
For the first time, Dim looks upon the woman that he loves and gently touches her face.
Dumfounded, Hope asks the narrator why he decided to give her a voice.
“Because it’s yours to have,” the narrator said.
“I’m not into love stories, but I really bought into this one,” Hernandez said.
With no more than a desk and chair used for props, the set was very plain. The use of multimedia was a very smart touch to the simple, yet influential play.
Many different songs were incorporated in the duration of the performance, including, “All You Need is Love,” by the Beatles, which further conveyed the message of love.
While the title of the play signifies that the story is not real, the message that it gets across is very real.
“It’s about love defeating the horrors of life,” senior playwright Kristopher Bicknell said.
Bicknell, a theater arts performance major, wrote the play in 2006 and revised it specifically for Frederick’s production.
“One of the things that attracted me to the play was that there weren’t a lot of concrete edges,” Frederick said. “There were so many places I could go with it.”
Audience members undoubtedly appreciated the places he took it as they gathered at the end of the performance to participate in a play discussion.
Another clever aspect of the play was the implication of puppetry.
Upon entering the theater, one saw a banner of the play that featured control bars and strings without puppets.
“Hope and Dim cut their strings and conveyed love to each other,” Frederick said. “If there is any message I would like you to walk away with tonight, it is to remember that love is the most important thing—making us human and defining the human condition.”
“This is All Fiction” closed its curtain Saturday night.
“Noises Off” is the department’s next production and will be on Nov. 12, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22 and 23.
Mark Vidal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.