A love story that combines exercise and exchanging apartment keys comes to State College this weekend.
No Refund Theatre’s free performance of “Key Exchange” will be shown at 8 p.m. today and 2 p.m. Saturday in 111 Forum building.
Written by Kevin Wade, “Key Exchange” focuses on the idea of freedom vs. commitment, something students struggle with and can relate to, Director Rebecca Kelley said.
“Key Exchange” was originally produced off-Broadway in 1981 and takes place on a bicycle path in New York City’s Central Park, where three cyclists come together each weekend.
Each scene of the play is a different weekend in summer and tells the story of Philip, Michael and Lisa.
The performance is Kelley’s (senior-dance) first time directing for No Refund Theatre, and she was originally introduced to the play in an acting class where she found it “smart and very funny.”
In the play, Philip is an aspiring novelist having an affair with Lisa, a photographer, Kelley said.
Michael is a copywriter who is newly married to a woman who has just run off with a composer she’s been working with, she added.
When his wife eventually returns home, Michael is left to deal with the regrettable situation, she said.
Meanwhile, “Lisa suggests to Philip that the couple should exchange keys to take their relationship to the next level,” Kelley said.
Philip tries to evade the situation because “he likes sex without commitment,” she said. “She eventually leaves him, and he has to try to win her back.”
The cast is made up of only three characters, and they have been rehearsing since the beginning of the semester in August, Kelley said.
Assistant Director Brian Gutierrez called the play a romantic comedy about three people with a common interest in cycling.
Forum 111 transforms into a scenic landscape backdrop complete with turf for the play, Gutierrez (sophomore-nuclear engineering) said.
Susan Garyantes, scenic designer for the play, described the background as a line of flat screens that follow the flats of the room, which convert it to an outside scene.
Garyantes (sophomore-design and technology) said working with director Kelley was “great.”
“[She] has a lot of experience with NRT,” she said. “She will do a fantastic job this weekend [with the play].”
The play itself “is a lot of fun and is comedic,” he said. “Come if you want to laugh.”
“Key Exchange” provides the audience with the means to learn about oneself, Gutierrez said.
The message of the play is “do what makes you happy,” he said.