People often like to hear stories that give them something to think about. Many of the plays written by Harold Pinter achieve that goal.
Performed by ETSU’s Patchwork Players, a crowd of people gathered in the Campus Center Building to hear three of Pinter’s iconic short plays. The plays that were performed were “A Kind Of Alaska,” “Victoria Station” and “Family Voices.” The three short plays had originally been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 before being adapted to the stage.
In the center of the room was a small stage with three stools, directing all of the audience’s attention to the performers.
“I’ve been acting for about five or six years now,” said freshman performer Vianna Isbister. “Stage readings is not something I am well acquainted with. I’ve been in a lot of different types of shows, and I thought it would be a new experience.”
The play that Isbister performed in was ‘Family Voices.’ In the play, a mother, son and father read aloud letters that they never say to each other.
“My favorite part was finding out who the mother was as a parent,” Isbister said. “I’m very young, so making that connection with someone older who has that bond with a child was something that I was really interested in exploring.”
Though short, the three plays took almost the entire semester to be produced, with preparations starting at the beginning of the semester.
Evin McQuistion, the president of Patchwork Players, said the cast worked intimately together in order to put on the best plays possible.
McQuistion said his favorite Pinter play performed that evening was “Victoria’s Station,” a play about a cab driver and a dispatcher communicating over radio. The dispatcher is trying to figure out where the cab driver is when the cab driver reveals that he is in front of the Crystal Palace.
The Crystal Palace is a building that had been blown up in World War II, and when the driver admitted where he was, it was revealed to the audience that he was dead and his ghost was communicating over the radio.
“There are a lot of interesting plays.” McQuistion said. “’A Kind of Alaska’ is a very thoughtful piece. You never really consider what it would be like if you fell asleep for 20 years and then wake up and have to figure out life again.”
Overall, the Patchwork Players portrayed Pinter’s characters realistically and convincingly, keeping the audience focused on the different stories.
“My favorite thing about acting is the looks on people’s faces when they understand what I’m saying,” Isbister said, “and when they finally get who my character is, and I make a connection to someone.”