Archikulture Digest
Bite Me

Bite Me

Theatre UCF’s Pegasus PlayLab • Orlando, Florida

by Eliana Pipes

Guest Director Edmarie Montes ’14

Can you get through high school on just booze and drugs? Is it worth the effort?

Any decent size high school will have a dead zone: a closet or storeroom that no one uses or even remembers why it came to be. Nathan (Justin Joseph Rotolo) and Melody (Ola Baraka) find such a place and use it as a refuge from the pettiness of school. She’s sharp and good looking, but doesn’t fit in racially. He’s angsty and on the edge of addiction. Both have big plans as they each teeter on their personal precipice. For fun, Nathan steals jewelry from the attractive alpha girl, and as a sign of solidarity Melody keeps it. Neither gets caught, and that’s the joy of theater. The text gets long-winded at times, neither is fully happy, both want out, and both seemed destined for a middle-class job in a subdivision and a middle-aged addiction.

Time passes, and now it’s reunion time. They both end up in the same storeroom, this time dodging their past instead of their future. She’s hot, he’s cold, and their bond, while weak, still exists. But Melody still has the hot piece of jewelry, and while both have moved on if not up, they still share fond memories.

This is a well-developed story from a young writer. I sense talent, but while the saying goes “write what you know,” we all know high school. The characters are well developed, if not exactly chiseled in stone. The situation makes sense, all buildings of any size hold secret spaces the curious will discover and enjoy. Both actors gave compelling performances, and after all, they are not that far distanced from High School Confidential.

Theatre UCF


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