The ETSU Patchwork Players presented a superb production of “Juvie,” the 1982 one-act play by Jerome McDonough, in Studio 205 of Campus Center Building.
With a promotional tag line of “Orange is the New Black meets The Breakfast Club,” this play focuses on the lives of 10 juvenile delinquents who are locked up, scared and lonely.
“Juvie,” directed by Gabby Wexler, Vice President of Patchwork Players, features a cast of 14 exceptional student actors who performed on opening night with both believable conviction and heart touching emotion.
Stars include Kaitlyn Mathis as Jean, Juan Pearson as Sunny, Preston Hardy as Skip, Keith Maultbay as Andrew, Rebecca Kingsley as Leah, Madisen Evans as Ann, Erin Teaster as Pinky, Kristen Lantz as Jane, Ryan Leonard as Phil, and Gleason Holt as Sean.
Supporting characters, such as Guard 1, Guard 2, Ms. Sims, and the Social Worker, were portrayed by Kurt Taylor, Nolyn Taylor, Amber Howard, and Izaak Potter respectively.
“One of the reasons I chose to direct ‘Juvie’ was because of its emphasis on character development,” Wexler said. “I wanted us to do a show that gave everyone—from experienced theatre folks to casual thespians—the opportunity to participate in a meaningful way.”
With the play set firmly in two holding cells of a juvenile assessment center, the storyline dramatically deviates from the three conventional stages of beginning, middle and end that usually make up a plot outline.
Instead, “Juvie” sets its sights on the individual journeys each character takes, through elaborate backstories and interactions with other cellmates, as their lives are forever changed within the one hour of the show’s run time.
“Each of the characters gets their own scene in which they share their story with the audience,” said Wexler.“Yet at the same time, the entire cast works together to make the show a success.”
“Juvie,” furthermore, is just one of many productions brought to campus by the Patchwork Players.
“Patchwork Players is an organization that works to facilitate and promote on-campus involvement in the arts,” Wexler said.
The organization produces live theatre productions every semester that are student run, acted, designed, directed, and every now and then even student written.
Productions presented by the Patchwork Players range from full length plays on campus and touring productions to improvisation and 10 minute play festivals. The club is open to each and every ETSU student regardless of his/her major or minor.
With opportunities for involvement in practically any area of stage production, the ETSU Patchwork Players are much like a local community theater where people are welcome to explore their interests and hobbies in drama without being required to commit to an intensive theater course.