CCES’s one-act play, The Visitors, was absolutely remarkable. This approximately 45 minute play was moving, intense, and thought-provoking. From an audience member’s perspective, the play was flawless. Each actor and actress was emotional and convincing in their role. I am honored to call these incredible thespians my fellow students.
The play started off with a young girl, KB, in the hospital and stuck in a coma. Her family members, friends, and “enemy” all came to visit her. One of her first visitors is her sister, Karen Noonan, who was phenomenally portrayed by Eliza Hoffman. She went from exhibiting a playful attitude to crying in almost seconds. During this scene, she acted like a grieving sister who was mad at the world but expressed her love for her sister in the process. James Delo also had a great performance. He played KB’s work colleague/friend, Derek Smalls, who blamed himself for KB’s condition and was angry and yelled at himself throughout the scene. The creepiest performance of the play was displayed by the two nurses, played by Sofia Renner Andreu and Cici Zhao. They represented where KB was while in her coma, and many question whether they were aliens or angels, but who knows? All we know is that whenever these two nurses entered the stage, the audience was freaked out.
Emma Vagnoni, who played KB, never left the stage and remained in character at all times. During each scene, she was able to tune out her visitors and engage with someone or something while her visitors were talking to her. She did this verbally as well as through various movements and expressions. She played this lead role perfectly.
The play ended with KB coming back to life in front of her family. This moment was filled with happiness and joy for everyone. However, in the last seconds of the play, KB left with the nurses, not her family.
One of the best aspects of this play is each person might have a different view of the characters, the plot, and the ending. In Reed Halvorson’s director’s note, he writes, “You may experience something different than another person in the same row as you.” For example, the ending isn’t entirely clear. Many people believe that KB died at the end of the play because it seems like KB leaves with the nurses, who apparently are from the other side. Other people believe that KB didn’t die, but will continue to revisit the other side while sleeping. Other features that leave the audience questioning are:
What did KB’s repetitive hand gestures mean?
What did the nurse whisper to KB?
Why did the nurses force Sam (KB’s “enemy”) to stay in KB’s room?
Why did KB respond to Sam but not to the other visitors?
What was the significance of the nurses changing KB’s pillowcases all the time?
What’s next for The Visitors? Well, this Saturday, November 16, CCES performs at Francis Marion College in a statewide competition. It has to be under 45 minutes in order to be scored. We wish them the best of luck this weekend.