From October 1st to the 4th, the Siena College Creative Arts Department put on an all student production of God of Carnage in Foy Hall in the Beaudion Theatre. This play, originally written by Yazmina Reza, was fortunate enough to have one of Siena College’s very own students direct it here on campus. Thanks to Shayne Peris, this play about manners without the manners truly came to life on stage. This production no doubt proved to be brilliantly hilarious and well rehearsed due to enormous comedic relief and acting skills of Samantha Burke, Petro Lilikas, Imani Miller, and Michael Sinkora. As a member of the audience, one could be tricked into thinking they were watching a movie as the lines and actions were executed flawlessly.
For a play with only four characters and one setting, the entertainment factor was through the roof. The play revolved around two very opposite sets of parents, Michael and Veronica Novak and Annette and Alan Raleigh. These parents decide to meet at the home of the Novak’s to discuss an issue that their children were having at school. It just so happens that the Raleigh’s child, in spite of not being accepted into a school gang, attacked the Novak’s child with a stick, knocking out a number of his teeth. The sole purpose of this gathering between parents was to find a way to resolve this matter in a civil and modest fashion. However, as the night progressed, this notion is quickly disregarded. Ironically, as the parents meet about the immature behaviors of their children, they simultaneously begin acting more and more childish with each word they divulge. Interestingly enough, it seems that throughout the entire night and pugnacious attitudes of all involved, the dynamics of the teams constantly changed. At first one parent would side with their spouse and next they would stand behind another and this went on until they had all virtually agreed with each character at some point in time.
Not only did this chaos bring the maturity of each character down a few pegs, each marriage was slowly unraveling at the seams as well. While the actors that portrayed these characters were each well below the average age of marriage, their performance transported the audience to a place that set them each at one end of a failed and hopeless relationship. A lot of this evocation of emotion was also in great part an unconditioned response to the savvy technical work behind the scenes and the extremely well built set. With each turn of events, it appeared that the dynamic or color scheme of the setting, lights and characters followed. This showing of the God of Carnage was truly delightful and the Siena College School of Creative Arts deserves deep recognition and praise for their efforts and execution.