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Volume 68, Issue 46, Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Arts & Entertainment

Students entertain with solid efforts

Curtain Call

Uruj Perwaiz

The UH School of Theatre's first student-produced play of the semester, Childe Byron, hit the campus last weekend at the Jose Quintero Lab Theatre.

Romulus Linney's play was produced by theater senior Jim Stewart and directed by theater graduate Josiah Franklin, entertaining a packed house with exquisite costumes and outstanding performances.

Set in the bedroom of Augusta Ada (Countess of Lovelace) in 1852, it follows an ailing mathematician, Augusta Ada, played by theater senior Lydianne Nelson. The cancerous growth in her stomach has no cure, and doctors say she will die whether or not she undergoes an operation. In other words, she's doomed.

The drugs Ada uses to ease her pain cause her to hallucinate and confine herself to her bedroom. She's surrounded by her math books and her latest invention, an engine that can offer the solution to any problem.

Ada is the daughter of Lord Byron, played by theater sophomore Nicholas Lazzaro, a poet with a roomful of lovers, male and female. Lord Byron's portrait hangs in her bedroom and as she takes her drugs and reads her last will and testament, her hallucinations bring him back to life.

The production is filled with compelling dialogue and constant arguing between all characters, but mostly Ada and Lord Byron. When Lord Byron comes to life in Ada's mind, she is desperate to find the answers to all her questions through him.

So she sets to interview him about his life. Lord Byron blames his failures on his descent, his Great Uncle was the "Wicked Lord Byron" and he is the "Crippled Lord Byron" as he limps around. Augusta Ada is still intent in "revealing the mystery of the Byron family."

Throughout all the scenes, the audience experiences a flashback of Lord Byron's life. All his years are replayed from the young Lord Byron who never had his mother's love. Lady Byron, played by theater graduate Karen Heimbaugh, suffered a severe lack of self-esteem.

Theater freshman Christopher J. Rivera plays young Lord Byron during the flashback scenes, revealing Byron's love for a young woman, played by English freshman Jasminne Rosario. Ultimately, the student-produced play offers fine acting performances and an impressive effort on all technical fronts.

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