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‘Wired’ competition showcases theatrical talents

By Kimberly Ilkowski
Review Editor

What do you get when you tell over 60 students to forfeit the next 24 hours of their lives to eat, sleep and breathe theater? Insanity, of course, and the fall edition of “Wired,” the biannual All College Theatre and TCNJ Musical Theatre competition to write, direct, state manage and perform a one act play from scratch. 

Five teams had only one day to create plays based off this year’s theme, “Classic Arcade Games” in the Brower Student Center on Saturday, Sept. 13.

Easy enough, right? That’s why the arbiters, who serve as the “game makers” of the event, added in some twists and turns to really have students pulling their hair out all in the name of comedy.

Twists that had to be added into the plays were a shopping mall store, a flavor, an X-rated position, a famous painting and a completely random prop.

“I am in an insanely caffeinated state,” said Matt Steurer, head arbiter and junior interactive multimedia and computer science double major, at the end of the night.

Some of the arbiters’ duties were to create the twists, themes and genres of the plays, as well as stay wide awake to execute it all.

It was through hyperactive creativity glands and looking back on other successful, past “Wired” ideas that the team of seven arbiters brainstormed this year’s wacky requirements.

Then it was on to the plays. In the Donkey Kong reimagined show “Donkey-Jote,” a disgruntled DK works at a Build-A-Bear Workshop with the girl of his dreams — and her arrogant boyfriend.

In an epic dream sequence, DK throws barrels at a hammer-handling Mario to save his love, Princess Peach.

Alyssa Freitas, a sophomore management major who ended up winning best actress, stole the show as DK’s embarrassing, constantly yelling mother, Mama Kong, complete with a thick New York accent.

Shannon McGovern, a senior music major, also won as best director for the show.

 In the play, “Did You Mean Recursion?” a group of people stand around a bar during a costume party. In a “Groundhog Day”-esque series of events, the character Rose must repeatedly encounter the same actions from a belligerent bar attendee, her blowhard boyfriend, a not-so-innocent stranger and a suspiciously knowledgeable bartender.

Talk of glory holes and doing shrooms are just some of the outrageous recurring dialogue, and the actor’s spot-on comedic timing helped land it this year’s best show title.

Stephany Estrada, a freshman anthropology major, also won for best stage manager.

“C.A.I. Codified Artificial Intelligence” follows a computer programmer, Amelia, trying to finish coding her new game. Cue a distraction in the form of a lesbian couple, Jackie and Jacqui, who take her out for the day, only to be kidnapped by a rogue programmer and forced to go through a series of challenges to escape.

In the midst of a challenge, Amelia realizes a solution to the problem she had in her own coding and applies it to help her escape the strange world she is trapped in.

This technophilic thriller landed senior psychology major Mariah-Lynn Black and junior English and secondary education double major Steven Munoz the best writers award.

“Contagion,” based on the game Space Invaders, is a sci-fi play about scientists and Apple Inc. representatives traveling to Planet Google to find a cure for a disease-plagued Earth. The Apple reps have cruel intentions, planning to take over and destroy Google to harvest the cure.

Luckily, the good guys prevail in the end, and scientist Diana is able to save the Googolian race from extinction. 

Wrapping up the night, “Post Secrets” featured a delivery company training their newest employee Max, played by senior music and education double major Kyle Sheehan.

Max is faced with inexplicable obstacles along his delivery route, like a traffic-blocking break dancer, a seductive Miracle Whip wielding lingerie model, a tornado and existential drug addicts. When Max isn’t driving over tombstones, he’s losing his life and helping Death through a mid-life crisis.

This bizarre yet lovable role earned Sheehan the award for best actor.

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