This past weekend—March 22 through 24—ACT presented their play The Briefcase. The production was completely student-run. The script was even written by a Kutztown University student, Ben Winn, who also directed alongside fellow student, Zachary Lentz.
The Briefcase’s premise surrounds the lives of two high school students, Luke and Tom, struggling to pass their math class taught by none other than Dr. Howell. In an attempt to succeed academically, the pair come up with the idea to steal the answer key to the final exam from Dr. Howell’s briefcase. However, they can’t do it alone. So, they seek the help of Atticus—a complete nerd they both bully but who is Dr. Howell’s star pupil—to help them achieve their goal of cheating. In the process, though, this unlikely trio discover something suspicious within the briefcase on Dr. Howell’s desk: forged tests. The three teenagers confront their teacher and force him to give his students the grades they deserve, and he promises to never forge another test again.
For Winn’s debut play, the production was extremely well executed. The humor within the script was conveyed perfectly through the cast, each joke receiving rounds of laughter from the audience. The comedy ranged from sophisticated, knowledgeable humor to puns, from political jabs to good old fashioned dick jokes. (Let’s face it: who doesn’t enjoy a refreshing dick joke every once in a while?)
Not only was the humor great, but the acting was impeccable. Winn and Lentz outdid themselves with the casting of their first production. Each actor truly immersed themselves into the nature of their characters. Nicolas Vaupel portrayed the rebellious and slight air-headedness of his character Tom, while Eric Bevan captured Luke’s constant struggle of wanting to grow up from his shenanigans while also wanting to help Luke (even though his latest scheme meant risking graduating high school).
Sam Moffat captured the utter frustration of his character, Atticus, having to live up to everyone’s expectations academically and disregarding his true passions. Dr. Howell, played by Jayson Phuah, embraced his role as a hard-ass teacher. At the production’s climax, Atticus and Dr. Howell’s frustrations reach maximum capacity as they both ensue verbal warfare on one another. Their yelling and raw emotion within that scene gave everyone in the audience goosebumps.
The Briefcase is just a brief example of the amount of talent contained on our campus. To see more upcoming events from ACT, check them out on social media: