I am by no means an aficionado when it comes to theatrical plays. Prior to an introductory course this semester, “Glee” and Tim Curry’s marvelous performance in “Rocky Horror Picture Show” was what I envisioned when someone spoke of “theatre.”
In the last couple of months, I have begun to develop a new appreciation for theatre and just how moving and influential it can be.
That said, I took a chance whenever the Arkansas Tech theatre program ran their fall production of Patrick Hamilton’s “Rope,” to see what the theatrical experience was like in person.
The play, directed by Glen Poole, from Fort Smith, served as a nice foray into the world of theatre with its engaging story, great acting and overall attention to quality.
“Rope” focuses around two university students, Wyndham Brandon and Charles Granillo, as they open the play by hiding the corpse of a classmate they have murdered. Moments later, their home is filled with acquaintances who notice the unusual attitude of the duo and begin to grow suspicious.
Taylor Paulk, from Little Rock, brought a contagious charisma and spirit to the lead role of Brandon, which I personally appreciated, as time pieces from the 1920’s typically lull me to sleep.
Paulk’s performance was matched by his fellow performers, Maddie Geels, from Clarksville, Aaron Jones, from Dover, Kaitlin Jones, from Greenbrier, Holly Willmon, from Bauxite, Nathan Yzaguirre, from Hot Springs, and Abraham Zarate, from Russellville.
The delivery of dialogue and nonverbals from the students indicated that they were anything but amateur. I went into the program expecting a few flubs and awkward moments as the college level is a time for those involved to grow into better performers. However, “Rope” operated like a well-oiled machine.
The acting was not the sole conqueror in the fall production, as the practical effects, such as the lighting, set design and sound also contributed to make the program a successful one.
Overall, “Rope,” by Patrick Hamilton and directed by Glenn Poole, combined fantastic, all-around acting with solid design for a memorable experience.