Campus News

Masque & Gown Cracks Up Common Hour Crowd

Story posted March 09, 2001

Masque & Gown took to the stage of Pickard Theater Friday, March 9, for a performance of "Job Interviewing Made Easy," a comic play by Patrick Robbins (who, by day, is the trade book buyer/floor supervisor of the Bowdoin Bookstore). Under the direction of Aaron Hess ’04, the cast of eight elicited laughs, hoots, and plenty of applause from the enthusiastic Common Hour crowd.

The talented cast included Kristina Balbo '01, Jennifer Dodd '01, Jon Lapak '01, Allie Lindell '02, Nick Powell '04, Xavier Santiago '01, Van Tran '02, and Erik Woodbury '01.

“Job Interviewing Made Easy” tells the tale of one Mr. Sullivan (Powell), a harried employer trying to decide which of three perfect candidates to hire. His frustrated declaration, “Oh, hell, I wish there were some way” to know whom to chose conjures up a surprise visitor. Not Satan (the job’s not THAT big), but rather one of his crafty minions (Santiago). The minion—Hansen is his handle, since the minions are named for showbiz pop sensations (he’s got a sister Britney)—offers Sullivan a solution: in exchange for his soul, Hansen will provide Sullivan with Ivy (Lindell), who will enable him (once she’s activated with a catch-phrase) to hear all the inner thoughts of the interviewees. Sullivan gives the plan a trial run with his administrative assistant (Dodd), who unknowingly, but gleefully, humiliates him with revelations about his personal hygiene shortcomings.

Ivy, the speaker of everyone’s inner thoughts, works like a charm. The truths that burst out from behind the job interview clichés (“Where do you see yourself in five years?”) make for a compact (30 minutes) blend of high- and low-brow humor. While the flatulent first candidate (Lapak) appears to be in command, Ivy reveals: “Oh, my palms are sweaty! I blew it, I blew it!” The next candidate, Mr. Foster (Woodbury), boasts, “I’m still in the running [for the job]” while thinking of Sullivan “You are so cute!”

Sullivan retains a hold on the reins until his third interview, a savvy woman (Balbo) who knows exactly what he’s up to. When it comes to Satan’s minions and hearing inner thoughts, she’s been there, done that. She’s graduated on to “speech control,” and forces Sullivan to hire her. “By the way, I take three hour lunches,” she brags. “Take four,” he laments.

Upon Hansen’s return, a beleaguered Sullivan begs to be released from his contract. The minion gleefully paints Sullivan’s future for him: “You blew your chance at mind reading; you hired the worst possible candidate; and when you die you’ll go to hell!” But with the help of Ivy, Sullivan gets Hansen to reveal how the deal can be revoked. A defeated Hansen retreats: “Vengeance will be mine!” (“I am so screwed!”, confesses his inner thoughts.) Sullivan, it seems, has found the perfect girl in Ivy, who shares his love for Ringo Starr, and maybe even Aquaman.

Masque & Gown is an entirely student-run organization giving undergraduates opportunities to express their interest in theater. The group produces full-length and one-act plays and sponsors the annual student-written one-act play contest. Their spring production will be “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” May 3-5.

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