A Cool Thing You Probably Missed: Wedding bells in the PW Upspace

What is possibly the most romantic place on Earth? Obviously Paris the PW Upspace! Although usually reserved for student produced content such as shows and performance art, this past Sunday, visitors were instead treated to a small wedding ceremony, the brainchild of Charlotte Senders ’18 and Ben Hayslett ’18.

The masterminds behind the wedding: Charlotte Senders '18 and Ben Hayslett '18

The masterminds behind the wedding: Charlotte Senders ’18 and Ben Hayslett ’18

When Senders and Hayslett were offered the space for a Sunday show, they decided that the perfect thing to do would be to hold a wedding, especially since Senders was ordained over the summer. So in an impressive five days, they pulled together the wedding with some help from volunteers. And when the original couple fell through Saturday afternoon, they recruited two of their friends and determined the groomsmen at 1 A.M. Sunday morning.

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PW Presents: Neverland

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Neverland, directed and written by Brian Semel ’16, was my first ever show at PW Upspace. And what a truly amazing show it was.

It’s a grown-up take on the childhood favorite “Peter Pan,” pondering the question of what happens in the future when characters, Peter Pan, Wendy, Tinkerbell, and Hook become adults. Audience members watch the complex web of disintegrating relationships play out. The play is heartwrenching, but ultimately, wonderful.

The cast is absolutely electric, with a nearly tangible energy shared amongst them. Each actor and actress is perfectly suited for their role. Becca Millstein ’16 plays an intelligent and cautiously loving Wendy, while John Filmanowicz ’17 presents a high-energy portrayal of Peter Pan. Ben Hayslett’s ’18 is plays a bright Hook and Canning Robb ’17 successfully executes a seductive Tinkerbell.

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Wendy and Peter start off in a relationship more comfortable than a worn-in sweater, with hilarious banter, ice cream, and of course, adoring love. There’s a delicious satisfaction in seeing a kind of “epilogue” for characters you grew up with. As the play progresses, however, we are reminded of the bittersweetness of growing up and change by their slowly crumbling relationship: one in which Wendy doubts whether Neverland is where she really belongs and Peter’s refusal to recognize he should let her go.

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The rift between Peter and Wendy deepens by the introduction of Tinkerbell and Hook. I was particularly entranced by the interaction of Tinkerbell and Peter; the tension between them ebbed and flowed during their flirtatious verbal sparring, leaving my heart to stop completely at certain points. Their counterparts, Wendy and Hook, also share an intimate moment, but in a much more tender way. Although they start off dictating letters by weaving lines of their respective dialogue together, they begin to talk directly to each other, in an intense, almost conspiratorial fashion. Wendy is left to ruminate if her relationship in Neverland is truly what she wants.

The power of the play is especially evident in Peter’s last monologue. You can’t help but fall in love with quotes about how much Peter is enamored with Wendy: the way people tell him to shut up because his thoughts about Wendy are so loud, the way he knows the tiniest tidbits of knowledge about her, the way he never reveals she sneezes in her sleep so he can revel in the cuteness by himself. But the thing about falling in love so quickly and so deeply, is that it makes it that much more devastating when you watch his relationship collapse in on itself. Semel’s great writing is also very obvious in Wendy’s dialogue; personally, my favorite quote was “This is paradise, but the vacation is over,” which perfectly encapsulates Wendy’s frustration and the claustrophobic nature of her bond with Peter,

Do yourself a huge favor and watch Neverland at one of the two times on Saturday. You will laugh. You will feel like your heart is bursting at the seams. You will definitely be glad you went.

Images via Danielle Perelman ’17.

The director Brian Semel ’16 is a writer for BlogDailyHerald.


What to do this week: September 15 – 21

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Monday, September 15:

Event: William Deresiewicz Lecture
Time: 6 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: 70 Brown St, McComack Family Theatre

Deresiewicz is the author of Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite (and a recently trending article on the New Republic that spoke of the same subject). Come hear and question him tonight on the subject of our very own education.

Tuesday, September 16:

Event: Pell Grant Symposium
Time: 6 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Macmillan 117

Come to this event hosted by the Education from the Inside Out Coalition to learn about the barriers currently facing previously incarcerated students reintegrating into society. With rising populations in both state and federal prisons, this symposium will discuss the necessary reforms for helping students get back on their feet. A panel of experts (that includes previously incarcerated students) will speak.

Event: BlogDailyHerald Info Session!!!!
Time: 7 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: 195 Angell St (The Herald Offices)

All are welcome to our info session tomorrow night to learn the details about the best organization on campus, and to ask any questions about our applications, which are due Friday, September 19. We’re hearing all the cool kids are coming so you should probably mark your calendar.

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These dudes are cold, shiny, hard plastic: ‘Mean Boys’

Watch this, then imagine a guy playing the Amanda Seyfried character (who would’ve thought she’d arguably be the biggest star from this movie today?). Just over a week after October 3rd, the Mean Girls jokes are about to start anew, because this weekend, PW Upspace will be playing host to “Mean Boys,” a gender-flipping table read of the 2004 film. Yes, you read that right: guys will be playing the Plastics, and girls will be playing the guys.

Tristan Rodman ’15 and Tarek Shoukri ’15, who are co-directing and co-producing the read, were inspired by a series of live table reads that director Jason Reitman put on at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The series featured classic and cult movies that were read by high-profile actors—Rodman was able to catch the reading of The Big Lebowski in which Seth Rogen played The Dude. Together, Rodman and Shoukri were determined to bring something similar back to Brown’s campus: “After brainstorming for a long, long while (read: all summer), we settled on Mean Girls because of its emergent status as the high school movie for our generation.”

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