On Friday, the UTM Drama Club hosted a performance night, partnering for the first time with the Accessibility Committee on the theme of physical and mental challenges. The show featured three solo musical performances by Rachelle Goebel, Alice Li, and Josh Wiles, who provided his own guitar accompaniment to the Steeldrivers’ “If It Hadn’t Been for Love”.

The night featured a preview of Marianne, Are You Asleep?, one of three student-written plays chosen to represent UTM at Drama Fest 2013 (the annual four-day U of T drama festival). Marianne, written by Nicolas Potter (who also attended and performed on Friday), “tells the story of a young woman obsessed with communicating with the spirit of her deceased mother”, according to the UTMDC website. In the preview, a sole actress in vintage dress and red lipstick performed a poetic monologue scene. According to the emcee, Marianne is “the perfect Valentine’s Day treat”.

You can catch all three student-written plays—Marianne, Are You Asleep?, Bruised Porcelain, and The Gully—at the U of T Drama Festival from February 13 to 16 at Hart House. Performances begin at 7:30 each night. Tickets are available at the door for $12, or for $10 online at UofTtix or through the UTM Drama Club. The Drama Club indicated that it’s best to buy tickets through them, both to get better discounts and because the money comes back to them to fund the Drama Club’s future performances.

The highlight of the night was the cast of the Drama Club’s production of Arcadia, who managed to slip away from rehearsal for a few minutes to present a preview of the show. Set half in the present and half in the early 1800s, Arcadia follows two modern-day academics bent on discovering the facts about Lord Byron’s stay at Sidley Park in 1812 and simultaneously features the real events of the celebrated English poet’s life.

In a short scene, the audience got a glimpse of five very different, very animated characters. Bernard, clad in a suit and spectacles, exuberantly read his upcoming lecture on Lord Byron to three colleagues while pacing about. One listener slouched and occupied himself with a Rubik’s Cube while his neighbour fed his pet turtle some sandwich pieces. But the third listener sat upright on the edge of her seat. She sent Bernard proud smiles and intense stares expressing her undivided interest in everything he was saying, but when he turned away from his barely listening audience, she too leaned back and started texting. As if this hilarity wasn’t enough, in came the second academic, Hannah, with a document that needed the group’s attention. After she made several objections to Bernard’s speech, Bernard threw a tantrum. The scene ended with Bernard storming off-stage followed by the two protesting women.

The Medium’s full review of Arcadia appears elsewhere in this section.