Fourth Wall Theater Group performs first production of the year

Jennifer Esposito

A crush, infatuation, love; is there really a difference? Maybe not, but Barb insists there is when Nick, who’s always falling in love after mere hours of meeting someone, claims he’s in love yet again. But this time it’s with a shark, and he takes a relationship’s boundaries to the next level in a comedic, yet serious, performance of “Swimming in the Shallows.”

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From left: Emily Gerrish and Alyssa Dunn perform "Swimming in the Shadows," a performance by Quinnipiac's Fourth Wall Theater Group

“Swimming” is Quinnipiac’s Fourth Wall Theater Group’s first production of the year, and was performed from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2 in the Black Box in the College of Arts and Sciences. It was completely student run, and directed by senior Melissa Mullaney.

“When I first read it, I just couldn’t stop laughing,” Mullaney said. “I thought it was a good story for college.”

Set in Twig, R.I., the play focuses on the relationships between a group of five friends. Carla Carla and Donna are a lesbian couple struggling to take their relationship to the next level, and were played by freshman Emily Gerrish and senior Lorraine D’Sa respectively. Barb, played by junior Alyssa Dunn, is experimenting with the Buddhist idea of only having eight items in her life, which creates tension in her relationship with her husband, Bob, who’s played by junior Mark Regini. The character Nick, played by sophomore Alec Farquharson, has a history of one-night stands and can’t seem to find real love until he meets a shark at the aquarium where Donna works.

“So the one really hard part about this was the fact that each line was one after the other and quick conversation,” D’Sa said. “Like you had to know your line precisely so the other person would be able to respond to you. Each line was a cue for the next line.”

The play moved quickly and had the audience laughing as Barb went on neurotic rants about having too much stuff. She offered to give her dishwasher away, pushing Bob’s frustration to new heights. Freshman Gerard Lisella played the role of the shark, and ran (or “swam”) in circles on stage, repeating “swim swim swim” and acting like he ran into the aquarium’s glass.

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From left: Alec Farquharson, Emily Gerrish, Lorraine D'Sa and Alyssa Dunn.

“I thought the show was really funny,” senior Kristen Banaszak said. “I liked it a lot because the actors had really good comedic timing and the script was really good. It’s silly but it’s kind of serious at the same time.”

Despite being a comedy in nature, the show had a serious message. The humanness of relationships and all of their imperfections was showcased through the expressive dialogue. In the beginning, Carla Carla debated accepting Donna’s marriage proposal. Nick told her she was forgetting the difficulties of finding love, and Carla Carla responded by saying Nick was always in love and didn’t understand its real meaning. Nick asked how often his love was reciprocated, which resonated with Carla Carla and made her realize she wanted to marry Donna.

Whether we fall in love with a man, woman, or, in this case, a shark, “Swimming in the Shallows” expressed how everyone goes through similar struggles in relationships, and finding love is rare.

Correction: In the print edition on Dec.5, 2012, the headline for this story read, “Student production Swimming in the Shadows satisfies.” The correct headline is “Student production Swimming in the Shallows satisfies.”