AZTEC FICTION, PART 3: Adventures of a College Drama Queen: ‘Cast Dynamics’

By April George

As weeks passed, the cast drifted into cliques. The director, James, could preach cast equality but the groups became painfully obvious.

Lucy, Doug and Eddie were the career theater kids. They had been in plays since they could walk, were majoring in theater and didn’t really like the college policy of allowing non-theater kids to do anything harder than sing in the chorus.

They liked to hang out on the theater docks, listening to show tunes and debating whether Patti LuPone had ruined Broadway.

Other cliques included theater wannabes (they smoked French-style, wore all black and tried to hang around with the career theaters), the smart but creative kids (psychology majors who desperately needed to fill a hole in their souls) and the “I’m just doing this to make my parents happy” group.

Phoebe was a career theater kid, but was only grudgingly accepted into their group (and only because she and Eddie had dated the semester before).

Onstage, she and Lucy were dating. Offstage, they didn’t get along but Phoebe decided it was easier not to rock the boat. The only actor she really got along with was David, the tiny red-haired dancer playing Angel.

About two weeks before opening, as they began technical rehearsals, Phoebe found herself on the docks, running lines with Doug, Lucy and David.

As Phoebe coached Doug on his lyrics, she noticed Lucy tormenting David mercilessly for the millionth time. Poor David looked like he was about to burst into tears. Something snapped inside Phoebe.

Standing up calmly, Phoebe set her script aside and walked to Lucy. The brunette looked up as she saw a shadow over herself, and met Phoebe’s eyes. “What’s the matter? You want to help torment the little loser too?”

Phoebe locked a smooth smile on her face. “I’ll leave the tormenting to you, Lucy. But I’ve wanted to do this since the show began.” She turned to leave, then spun and punched the girl in the face. Blood poured from Lucy’s nose as she screamed.

Satisfied, Phoebe put an arm around David and began to walk into the theater. However, she was intercepted by James, who had seen the entire incident. His face was drawn. “Phoebe, my office, now. We’ll have to discuss your future in this show.”

Phoebe’s heart sank. She had just been defending her friend. Would that act of friendship cost her her dream role?

See next issue for Part 4.

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