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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Honors Players deliver

    Last weekend, UA got a dose of high school drama in the Honors Players’ presentation of Steven Levenson’s play, “”Seven Minutes in Heaven.””

    The acting troupe, comprised entirely of honors students, has been producing full-length plays since 1986. This fall’s production of “”Seven Minutes in Heaven”” whisked the audience of parents and UA students back in time to 1995.

    At a party, the six characters cope with relationships, family issues, alcohol, sex and a myriad of other issues 15-year-olds should not be dealing with.

    “”Everything is so emotion-packed during those years,”” said Corey Dane, director and Arizona Theatre Company manager. “”We worked on translating that confusion into the play.””

    Punctuated with monologues, mockery, and witty dialogue, the Honors Players make it easy to relive all of the feelings that accompany high school.

    Each of the characters occupies a stereotype. There’s the nerdy kid and the jock, the mean girl and the girl who’s just trying to fit in. Together, they wrestle with friendship, the truth and the reality that everything comes to an end.

    “”I got to pick people who really sparked an interest in me,”” Dane said. “”Then we found a play with parts that suited each individual.””

    For example, Hunter, played by philosophy freshman Maxon Wingert, gave a monologue about his morning routine. Now, Wingert starts each day the same way his character does, according to Dane.

    “”Most of the Honors Players are freshmen trying to acclimate to university life,”” Dane said.

    Diana Andres, the assistant director, is a freshman studying molecular and cellular biology and physiology. Initially, she considered dropping out of Honors Players.

    “”I did a lot of stage and tech stuff in high school, but when I read the script, I didn’t know if I wanted to do this,”” Andres said. “”At the end, I thought it was really amazing.””

    Wingert hadn’t planned on participating either.  

    “”On the day of the audition, I saw the poster,”” Wingert said. “”I just decided to do it.””

    In addition to a small production team, the Honors Players had to wrestle with a restrictive set.

    “”It was difficult to create a new world in such a tiny space,”” Wingert said. “”It only just came together in the last week.””

    The Honors Players transformed the Slonaker House living room into a warm basement, complete with a Beatles’ poster and stacks of board games. One scene even required a toilet.

    “”Finding that toilet for a prop was one of our biggest challenges,”” Andres said.

    Challenges aside, the cast successfully delivered an hour in high school — or “”Seven Minutes in Heaven.””

    “”We didn’t expect to fill up all the seats,”” Andres said. “”We even made some money, which is great considering it was free.””

    Like the spin-the-bottle scene, where each spin of the bottle triggered a different, scripted end to the scene, “”Seven Minutes in Heaven”” is quirky and unpredictable — just like our teenage years.

    “”It’s interesting listening to what people say on the way out,”” said Dane. “”They’re questioning and confused, and it’s a bit like high school.””

    The Honors Players nailed it. “”Seven Minutes in Heaven”” is a lot like high school — endearingly sweet and comically awkward.

    And while it’s nice to visit for an evening, thank goodness high school is over.

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