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The Haunted House: Review


Leslie Schallock

Staff writer

Theatre Roanoke College presented their Fall production, “The Haunted House,” on November 16-19.  This play was written by the Roman playwright, Plautus, who has written a slew of other comedies.  Despite many historical events that have taken place between 180 B.C. and today, this play still enraptures audiences with its timeless style.

Featured in this production were Johnny Camacho ’12 as Tranio, the dubious slave, Ed Hyrina ’12 as the duped father, and Charlie Mosher ’14 as the hedonist son.  In this trio, the father, Theopropides, returns unannounced from his business ventures overseas.  His son, Philolaches, has been squandering his father’s money on parties to the point of debt.  It is up to Tranio to save the son by diverting Theopropides from the house.

At this point, conniving Tranio tricks Theopropides into believing his house is haunted.  This lie then snowballs until the final sequence of the play.

The play begins, however, with other fine peformances.  Michael Neuman ’15 made his debut with TRC as a grimy, country slave.  His role intertwined with Camacho’s Tranio to make for a humorous interplay.  Their gestures and body movements really filled the stage and engaged the audience at the very start of the play.

Likewise, other notable performers were Kris Halverson ’14 and Rachel Leach ’14.  These two shared their own banter as characters young and old.  Halverson played the lustrous, young courtesan and Leach played alongside as the old, wishful ex-courtesan who tends to the young woman.

This sequence provided ample laughs for the audience as Halverson combed her golden tendrils and Leach revealed her missing teeth.

Hrinya and Camacho, nevertheless, were the predominant cat and mouse roles.  Camacho dominated the stage with his and animated performance and deceitful radiance.  His boundless energy flit hither and thither about the stage as Hrinya kept the same pace.

Hrinya ambulated about the stage with a formidable shadow.  He kept his character’s disposition in flux throughout the play.  He counteracted Camacho’s blithesome demeanor and kept the audience in angst.

TRC’s winter production is entitled “Almost Maine” and will be showcased next semester.