Revolving around two 11-year-old boys and their physical altercation, “God of Carnage” focuses on the aftermath of their fight. The catch? The boys are never seen in the play, but are the main catalysts for plot movement.
The play starts off in a well-decorated living room. Two pairs of parents are calmly discussing the incident in which one boy knocks out two of his playmate’s teeth. As the play develops, the parents descend into screaming fits of racial and misogynist slurs. By the end of the play, tensions are high, and the parents are acting more immature than the children they initially discussed.
Both funny and uncomfortable at times, “God of Carnage” was an enjoyable production. Just when I thought a discussion was fading out, some insult would be hurled out that exacerbated the drama all over again. Seeing the characters show their true colors throughout the fights gave a depth to the scenes. My thoughts and judgments about the four characters changed frequently during the play.
With just four actors, the script truly allowed the actors to showcase their acting skills. I was especially impressed with junior Annie Page’s portrayal of Veronica, a self-declared lover of the world and advocate for human rights. Page has performed in One-Act plays and last year’s main stage production of “Six Degrees of Separation,” but this was her first student-directed, full-length play. Juniors Carl Burgason and Emily Helderman, as well as freshman Carson Betts, made up the rest of the cast.
Senior and director Melanie Ellis had nothing but positive things to say about her crew; she especially admired their dedication to their characters and to portraying them well.
“Inhabiting characters who come from such hateful mindsets fundamentally different from one’s own is so draining, but they came to every rehearsal with such energy, creativity and brilliance,” Ellis said. “I couldn’t be more proud of everyone in this production.”