Drama faculty let loose in play


Xavier Johnson / The Advocate

Liberal arts Dean Jason Berner (left) as the Big Bad Wolf is offered alcohol by Little Red Riding Hood played by Theater Staging Specialist Courtney Johnson during “Twisted Tale” in the Knox Center on Friday

By Luis Lopez, Staff Writer

What do a smoking grandma, a flask swigging Little Red Riding Hood and a tatted up Cinderella have in common? They are all raunchy, rude and crude versions of fairy tales being portrayed in this year’s drama and faculty production.
Seeing drama teachers and faculty portraying these racy characters had the audience in tears.
The play appropriately titled, “Twisted Tale,” was written and directed by drama department Chairperson Carlos-Manuel Chavarria and was performed on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in the John and Jean Knox Center for the Performing Arts.
The annual faculty play is a way for the drama department to raise money for their trip to the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington D.C. The festival is a network of more than 600 U.S. academic institutions aimed at improving the quality of college and university theater.
“Twisted Tale” is a modern and adult themed version of classic fairy tales such as Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs and Cinderella.
The show was put together in only four evenings and was billed as “one of a kind.”
With its adult-humored jokes that got crude and raunchy at times, the performance exceeded expectations.
The content of the play is entertaining and offers a unique, imaginative way to think of the classic fairy tales we’ve grown to know and love.
All the stories are meshed into one, with the narrator not just recounting the tales, he acted in the story as well.
The play breaks the fourth wall from the beginning with the introduction of “the narrator” portrayed by Chavarria. The narrator walks out of the crowd yelling profanities at audience members before finally taking a seat in the center of the stage.
He is accompanied by a giant book, some pill containers and a bottle of wine.
Later in the performance, the narrator asks someone from the audience to help untie him from a chair. From beginning to end, the retelling of these classic tales kept the audience laughing out of their seats, enjoying the show.
The actors did a good job of portraying their characters and seemed to be having fun, which made the play enjoyable.
Their enthusiasm also made for an engaging audience experience.
Jason Berner, dean of the Liberal Arts Division, played Wolfy, an alcoholic celebrating his first year of sobriety.
Drama faculty member Linda Jackson-Whitmore played BBW, short for Big Bad Wolf.
The acronym for Big Bad Wolf’s name (as defined on urban dictionary) offers an idea of the kind of humor which filled the play was filled.
Little Red Riding Hood was played by theater staging specialist Courtney Johnson.
This version of Red had her cussing like a sailor and drinking from a flask through the whole play. At one point she was even wielding a machine gun.
A tatted-up Cinderella, played by Iggy Carothers, provided laughs whenever her lines were read. Throughout the performance, she said the most inappropriate things at the most inappropriate times.
The Three Little Pigs were played by Angelina LaBarre as the big little pig and the puppet for the middle pig, with William Campbell portraying the little pig.
Their chemistry as a duo also brought the house down whenever they were onstage.
The “Twisted Tale” take on classic fairy tales meant there were no happy endings. However, there was plenty of fighting and bickering between characters and the narrator.
The nearly sold out crowd meant a good amount of donations were collected, which made the experience all that more engaging.