A small, yet dedicated production of students are set to perform Edward Albee’s “At Home at the Zoo” for this weekend’s No Refund Theatre play.
Director Paul Them said he fell in love with the “uniquely human” story when he came across it about seven years ago.
“It’s one of the greatest plays written by one of the greatest playwrights,” Them (senior-mathematics) said. “It’s really a one-of-a-kind show.”
The play was originally just one act written in 1958 about two strangers, Peter and Jerry, meeting on a bench in Central Park. Nearly a half-century later, in 2003, Albee wrote an additional act that serves as a prequel to give more insight into Peter’s life.
“This show has a plot that builds from beginning to end,” Troy Giel said. “It’s captivating.”
Giel (freshman-geosciences) plays Peter, whom he describes as “a quaint, fairly average man” who rarely takes any risks.
Jerry, on the other hand, is a “socially awkward man who wants to make a friend,” Colin Lester said of his character.
“People get away from simple ideas of the most basic human emotions,” Lester (freshman-broadcast journalism) said. “It’s good to see that primal instincts and emotions are key in this play.”
Assistant Director Michelle Fontan called “At Home at the Zoo” a very “intellectual” theatrical production.
“There are no gimmicks or cheap laughs,” Fontan (sophomore-premedical) said. “It’s a dialogue-heavy show that has great depth to it.”
The characters, she said, are difficult to play, but Fontan is proud of how the three-person cast has taken the characters to heart.
“Seeing these actors become someone else is incredible,” Fontan said. “It’s very believable and completely immersive.”
NRT’s free production of “At Home at the Zoo” will be performed at 9:45 p.m. Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in 111 Forum.