Six characters, 2 plays, 1 show

Jessica Cabe

A character may tell you he is more real than you are.

What if your perspective, situation, relationships and feelings never changed? Would that make you more or less real?

These themes and more are explored in Six Characters in Search of an Author, a 1920s play written by Sicilian novelist and playwright Luigi Pirandello. The play runs Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Corner Theatre in the Stevens Building. Tickets are $5.

The Corner Theatre serves as a perfect setting for this play, which toys with the audience’s preconceived notions of reality and fiction. The intimacy of the space facilitates a heightened involvement from the audience members.

What begins as a Hamlet rehearsal quickly turns into chaos. Six characters whose stories were left unfinished by their author stumble onto the stage and interrupt the rehearsal. The characters try to entice Hamlet’s director, MFA acting student Nick Ferrucci, to hear their stories out. As the pieces fall together, Ferrucci toys with the idea of stepping up as playwright to finish the story.

The characters’ story turns out to cover a wide spectrum of emotions, from lust to innocence, hatred to love, denial to acceptance. Through the twists and turns played out on the stage, I found myself questioning the nature of reality itself.

MFA acting student Jaime Mire gives a standout performance as the seductive and deeply damaged Stepdaughter, whose personal story is both frightening and heartbreaking. MFA acting student Clay Blackwell, who plays the Father, serves as the vessel for most philosophical justifications for his own despicable acts.

This unexpected interruption from six characters in search of an author turns into an introspective exploration of humanity. The characters do not simply feel real in the usual sense; they are real.