A successful writer, a determined stalker and a film director obsessed with female sexuality. These vibrant characters could all be found in student theater org Deep End Production’s excellent production of “Boy Gets Girl.” The show was directed by Cait McCluskie ’20 and assistant directed by Veronica Silva ’20. The show told the story of an innocent blind date goes awry and soon turns into stalking. On March 17 and 18, the Ytterboe Lounge audience was kept on the edge of their seats, with not a clue as to would happen next.
“Boy Gets Girl” is a play written by Rebecca Gilman. It tells the story of Theresa, a successful woman writing for a New York magazine. Theresa (played by Grace Bloomquist ’21) is invested in her work and struggles with relationships. However, when Theresa gets set up on a blind date with Tony (played by Dario Villalobos ’18) she is nervous and excited. Tony is a nice man who works in the computer industry, but towards the end of the date Theresa quickly realizes that they have nothing in common. Despite Theresa’s refusal to see him again, Tony continues to intrude on Theresa’s life to the point of stalking.
Bloomquist developed her character of Theresa beautifully throughout the play. The nervous, flustered woman on the date with Tony directly contrasted the admired, confident woman in the workplace. Likewise, Bloomquist portrayed the heavy toll that Tony took on the character of Theresa toward the end of the play, with her wary expressions and defeated tone of voice.
Villalobos, as Theresa’s stalker, did a magnificent job of establishing his powerful character to the audience. He changed quickly from an eager man trying to impress his blind date to a vengeful man looking to get back at Theresa with bloodshot eyes.
Matt Stai ’18 as Les, an exploitation film director, proved to be a great source of comedy throughout the show. Stai’s animated, humorous facial expressions accompanied his character’s quirky humor. Stai had the audience roaring with laughter in his interaction with Theresa as he explained that his “movies celebrate women” instead of objectifying them.
Hawken Paul ’20 also displayed great comedic timing as Theresa’s coworker Mercer – especially during his awkward interactions with Theresa. Paul must be commended for his exceptional delivery of Mercer’s monologue when he pondered whether to write a story about Theresa’s situation.
Jonah Schmitz ’21 as Howard captured the perfect balance between boss and caring friend to Theresa. Schmitz embodied great confidence as he paced around Theresa’s office, yet also embodied respect for her.
Katie Moore ’21, playing Harriet, was also hilarious as the nosy intern with a mind of her own.
The entire ensemble in the play had phenomenal chemistry with each other, but a particular dynamic that stood out was that between Bloomquist’s Theresa and Marvellous John ’21 as Detective Beck. John portrayed a deep understanding of her character through maintaining a certain formality while assessing Theresa’s case with Tony. However, when Theresa was overcome with fear at what the future will hold for her, the audience was entranced as Beck stepped out of her rigid character as a detective long enough to give Theresa a heartfelt hug.
The production’s staging was set up in theater-in-the-round style, with the audince surrounding the stage on four sides. This allowed the audience to feel a certain intimacy and involvement with the characters on stage. The furniture used in the play was simple and minimalistic, but easily established various settings like an office, bar or apartment. McCluskie’s blocking made use of the whole stage, which was highly engaging for the audience.
Deep End Production’s outstanding portrayal of “Boy Gets Girl” positively educated the audience on the serious topic of stalking and sexual assault. The play’s end was truly memorable as Theresa leaves the light on in her apartment, symbolizing that she was no longer afraid of Tony.