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‘Six Degrees’ of success

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By Melissa Benton

By Melissa Benton

The house lights dim slowly. A hush falls over the audience. A few steps are heard making their way in the dark, as the stage lights are suddenly brought up. A naked man is standing just inches from the audience. The play begins with a slight shock, already capturing the interest on the audience.

Six Degrees of Separation, part of Riverside City College’s Off Broadway Play Series, had a very successful run. The stage was beautifully designed by Jerry Longman. It was designed to seat the audience on Landis Auditorium’s large stage, allowing the actors to communicate better with the intimate setting. A thrust stage seating arrangement allowed the audience to sit either in front of or on the side of the small round stage in the middle. Two large platforms were off to either side of the stage, allowing the actors more places to talk, and offer different views to the audience.

The lighting design, done by Bill Mittler, was beautiful. The lights changed in so many ways, and captured the mood intently. The use of a spotlight during a particular monologue created a captivating feeling for the audience. The flash of colors used in just the lighting alone gave this play true character.

Costuming was simple, and did not push anything over the top. The costumes were flattering on all the cast. The simple costumes made the play easier to watch, and did not take away from the acting.

The true highlights of this play were the actors. Stephanie Rose and Kristopher Bramlett stood out the most. Rose and Bramlett played Ouisa and Flanders Kittredge. The connection these two shared on stage was real and believable. Rose and Bramlett had a marriage of love brought together by the need for money.

Rose stole the show with the beautiful work she did portraying the inner conflict of following her husband, or to help the young man, Paul. Rose gave the best performance in the show.

Sebastian Velmont played the young con-artist, Paul. His portrayal of Paul, and the struggles and lies the character created, was wonderfully done. It was difficult not to feel empathy for the character.

Six Degrees of Separation was directed by Gary Krinke, who has directed all over Southern California. He put his best foot forward with this play, and it came out to be an excellently executed show. The staging was unique and kept life in the play, while the entire cast worked well together. Krinke put on another successful show at RCC.

Six Degrees of Separation brought culture, misconception, new ideas, lies, and truth to Landis Auditorium. The play was an absolute hit. The wonderful combination of stage design, lighting, costumes, directing and acting, all worked together to create a very unique show.

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