Cal Poly students shock and entertain audience

Mark Vidal
Editorial Director

A sex slave humping a bloody body bag proved that when students are asked to use their imaginations, they will.

The Cal Poly Pomona Department of Theater Arts presented student written-and-directed one acts last weekend, showcasing five unique tales dealing with realistic and out-of-this-world circumstances.

“Eddie’s Night Out,” written by Matthew Reidy, was the most-talked about one-act.

“It was unexpected. It took me on a fun house ride,” said Whittier resident Natasha Duran.

“Eddie’s Night Out” tells the story of a drunkard named Eddie, played by Gerardo Alarcon, who is talked into breaking into the house of a hooker named Marci to reclaim the $60 she swindled him out of.

Unfortunately he finds himself being tricked yet again by two con artists who conspire to kidnap him after giving him access to the hooker’s house.

Paul and Vera, played by David Lepore and Kiersten Tanopo, tie him to a chair at gun point, drench him in gasoline and Paul even forcefully makes out with him while on his lap, wearing only skin-tight leather pants.

“They were tight and stretchy,” said sophomore theater major Lepore. He initially auditioned for the role of Eddie but ended up liking Paul’s character a lot more.

At one point the audience was amused by his appearance but amusement eventually turned into disgust when he began rubbing his crotch on a dead body inside of a bloodied corpse’s bag. After the sexual interrogation, the scene concluded with Eddie telling them a sad story about his childhood, which prompted them to give him $60 and set him free.

“I have to say the scene was over the top,” said Upland resident Rock Caldarone. “It pushed the edge of social comfort.”

Caldarone came to the festival to support his son, Devin Caldarone who played a recently laid off worker named Nick Reed in “The New Fire.”

This one-act featured a modern day scenario about a man finding himself jobless due to the downsizing of his company, and unusually desperate as he talks his boss into giving him his job back.

Only after revealing the secrets of other employees does Nick manage to get rehired.

Another unusual scenario played out in the festival dealt with interspecies reproduction, involving humans.

“The Winged Man” crosses realistic boundaries as a young woman named Daysi, played by Danielle Ramos becomes impregnated by a dying man with wings, not necessarily an angel. She is ridiculed by her unsupportive mother and friends but her struggle is relieved by the humor of Allysha, played by Alma Felipe, who personified the stereotypical “chola.”

“The intentional Latin influence gave more character to the traditional “girl gets pregnant story,” said sophomore social science major Jonathan Serrano.

Other plays included “The Twelve Stages” by Joseph Ngo, about life’s many challenges, and “The Phoenix Rides a Skateboard” by Kate Rigg, about an Asian woman trying to fit in with American culture.

“The festival proved the amazing creativity young writers can create. I would like to see these types of opportunities more often in the future,” Serrano said.

The one acts will be performed tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. in the studio theater at Cal Poly Pomona.

For more information call 909-869-3800.

Mark Vidal can be reached at mark.vidal@laverne.edu.

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