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‘Hay Fever’ delivers laughs, smiles to audience

By Chelsie Derman

Family members in the play lean on each other ( Photo courtesy of All College Theatre).

All College Theatre’s “Hay Fever” captivated audiences, who burst with laughter, joy and enthusiasm over the showing’s four-day run, which began on Sept. 25.

Performed in the Kendall Hall Black Box Theater, the comedic play focuses on the eccentric Bliss family. Written by Noël Coward, the play is set in an English country house in the 1920s. With short notice, each family member decides to bring a guest home, causing bickering to ensue. With just the right comedic timing, the performers led the crowd to erupt with laughter.

“I thought it was very funny,” said Megan Iradi, a freshman early childhood education and mathematics dual major. 

Already an act in, the audience was eager for the show to continue.

“The first part was very good,” said David Muller, a professor who teaches his freshman seminar program, “The Necessity of Theater?,” at the College. “I’m really enjoying the exposition of the play. It starts out and you don’t quite what’s happening at all, and slowly over the course of the 45 minutes, you start to understand the character relationships.”

Acknowledging the play from a theater standpoint, Muller described the show’s first act as being a way to introduce a variety of characters. 

“You don’t know who’s going to come next,” Muller said. “Each time someone comes in, they are obviously very different and have a very different motive for being there, so I find that very interesting.”

Iradi felt that the overall play was successful, attributing much of her enjoyment to its wit.

“I never saw a play end like that,” she said.

The performers thought that their recitals paid off in how they delivered their comical lines.

“Along the recital process, we all developed bits of character,” said Brian Nigro, a freshman business management major who starred in the play.

“Hay Fever” marks the first ACT play for Nigro, who shared what it was like to get into character. 

“We can develop our own funny bits,” Nigro said. “(We’re) discovering what new funny things people would bring to the table.”

Dylan Jonas, a junior interactive multimedia major who was also in the show, described his favorite aspect of his performance. 

“I really enjoyed interacting with all the other characters,” Jonas said. “(Getting into a character) gives you freedom and gives you a lot of room to play with.” 

Ambar Grullón, a junior English major and vice president of ACT, was the assistant director of the play and talked about how the cast and crew came together to make the show happen. 

“Typically, we have a really short timeline for the show,” Grullón said. “We didn’t even cast the show a full month ago and so it’s always a matter of — OK, this is exactly what we need to get done. Let’s make a plan, let’s make a schedule.”

Fortunately, for Grullón, everyone was on top of communication for the production, and the practices ran smoothly.

“It’s a community,” Grullón said, “It’s never just about the leads.”

Grullón said she always enjoyed something different on every night of the show’s four-day run at the College. 

“I think that’s because the cast feeds as much of the energy of the audience as much as the audience feeds on the cast,” said Grullón. 

However, if she had to choose a favorite, she said she enjoyed when the characters played adverbs, a game of charades where one person acts out an adverb and the others must guess.

“The pace was on fire,” Grullón said. “It was fun to be a part of.”


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