Friday, January 9, 2015


By Kristopher Karcher

            There are a few no-fail ways to ruin a relationship, whether romantic or otherwise. Number one, of course is a lost of trust. Cheating or lying is a big no-no in building and keeping a friendship or romantic endeavor. A second is jealousy. Do not envy your friends, its unhealthy and doesn't help you or your friend grow.  These two seem like to involve the littlest of common sense. But, there is one everyone always seems to forget: If you know what is good for you and your relationship, never play games like Monopoly or Scrabble. Games like these are designed to start wars. Remember World War I? I know the history books mention something about the first World War being sparked by the murder of some Duke, but Im pretty sure some world leader in Serbia used all seven letters and Emperor Franz Joseph just had enough. In my family games of scrabble, we go by one dictionary, and it bears years of tatters and tears from trying to prove the plural of Octopus. Competition brings out the worst in all of us, but sometimes you have to wonder, are you really fighting about the usage of the word twerk and its derivatives, or are you fighting about something else entirely? Losing a game is a big bruise to the ego, especially when youre losing to someone who already has it all. 

            Thus is the dilemma of Gary in The Chinese Life Force by Michael McGoldrick, which will be performed in the Riant Theatres Strawberry One-Act Festival on February 13th at 9pm & February 14th at 3pm at the Hudson Guild Theatre, 441 West 26th Street, NYC. Tensions run high as Nat, his friend from college constantly undermines him in both word scores and world experience. Gary lives a very plain but content life. Hes got a wife and kids and a basic cookie-cutter job with room to move up. Nat, on the other hand, has the more exciting life. He makes tons of money and is in a different city every weekend, and with that, has a different woman. Nat says Gary has missed out on so many opportunities by settling down and just wants him to see the world his way, while putting down E-S-P-R-I-T for 40 points. Gary fights back trying to explain to him that hes happy and doesn't need the same success Nat has, while putting down an unconvincing T-A-M-E for a meager nine. The competition puts their friendship on the rocks.

            But what defines success? Who are we to say that a family at home isn't just as successful as wealth and an exciting career? What, in our lifetime, is valued more? And what does that say about our society? Success is very relative. As a Theatre and English major, my salary once I leave college will most likely be much lower than my peers in Computer Science, but does that make me less successful? Because Im doing something that is fulfilling in my mind but maybe not as much in my wallet? I think a lot of people grapple with this their entire lives. Very few can have it all. Were all jealous of someone. But maybe its important to really look at our lives and decide what will make US happy. And do that. If thats a wife and kids, go ahead. If its to be single, you do you. You wanna be a nun? Get it girl. But god forbid, do not play Scrabble with the ones you care for most.  

The Strawberry One-Act Festival
February 11th – February 22, 2015
At the Hudson Guild Theatre
441 West 26th Street, NYC

For tickets click here.
Box Office:  646-623-3488

Instagram @RiantTheatre

SERIES D – February 13th at 9pm & February 14th at 3pm
THE CHINESE LIFE FORCE by Michael McGoldrick
When two old friends meet to catch up on each other’s lives, old rivalries rise to the surface.

SO, SO I AM NORMAL By Rick Charles Mueller
What is normal?  I think and live and may be different – but, so – so normal – like you!

FIXATION By Anthony Fusco
How well do you know your roommate?  A psychological thriller.

THE RULES By Isobel Mahon
The girl who played by her guys rules no matter what.

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