Target Behavior Premiere Riveting
Paul Brissett, Duluth News Tribune
December 2, 2011
Kendra is a high school girl locked in a psychiatric ward, refusing her therapist’s request that she talk about “that night.” So begins Target Behavior, a two-act play that opened Thursday in the Dudley Experimental Theater at UMD’s Marshall Performing Arts Center.
It was the world premiere of the work by UMD junior Caity Shea Violette, whose plotting and characters bespeak a sophistication beyond her years.
Her script is given its best face by director Tom Isbell and a strong cast, including Katie Workman as Kendra, Johanna Dittus as her friend Bridget and Gracie Anderson as Kendra’s mother, Ellen. Violette unveils the events that brought Kendra to the ward with infinite patience, intercutting flashbacks with scenes of therapy sessions and encounters with other patients. Workman handles the material with skill, disclosing Kendra’s inner being bit by tiny bit. When she eventually discloses the details of the trauma that precipitated her hospitalization, the capacity house Thursday was dead-silent.
Sharing the stage in Act I flashbacks with Workman, Dittus’ Bridget struck a sharp contrast with Kendra: Confident, ebullient to the point of brashness and utterly without apparent capacity for deep thought. Bridget takes charge of those theatrical scenes as well as of the dramatic situation.
Although we see no more than a glimpse of Anderson’s Ellen character until well into Act II, when she appears, much of the mystery of Kendra’s situation is solved. Ellen is an alcoholic, a formerly battered wife who now traipses from one shallow relationship to the next. Anderson gives Violette’s dead-on rendition of the classic alcoholic’s rationalization a conviction that will make anyone who’s ever been subjected to the spiel cringe. Also dead-on is her climactic confrontation with Kendra, in which she argues that the daughter is just like the mother in feeling she’s nothing without someone else to validate her being.
If there’s a weak spot in Violette’s script, it’s the schizophrenic nature of Dean, Kendra’s therapist, played by Tristan Tifft. Although in individual sessions he is sincere and patient, during group work he is full of the phony enthusiasm of a counselor at a camp for bored youngsters, and is capable of petulance.
A minor irritant is the number of scene changes. Although they’re unavoidable in the play as written, with its flashbacks and intercuts, they give the performance a choppy feel.
Designer Topaz Cooks’ set itself is simple and effective: screens of vertical black bars in front of a gray and white backdrop that suggests cracked concrete — or a spider’s web. In front of the screens various arrangements of tables and chairs distinguish the individual scenes.
Emotions filled the room while the wonderful performance of Target Behavior was shown at UMD on Wednesday night. The play was about a girl named Kendra that was taken to a psychiatric hospital because of a certain night that she is terrified of.
In Act 1, Kendra is in a Psychiatric hospital with 4 other people. She meets a boy named Jake and he helps Kendra throughout her stay at the hospital. As the play goes on you find out all the reasons why Kendra has been admitted to the Psychiatric Hospital.
A commencement goes out the writer, Caity Violette and the director of this play for doing a wonderful job of going about making this play informative and also spectacular without offending anyone in the audience.
The actors in the play did a wonderful job as a whole but Katie Workman, Kendra did a great job of allowing the audience to fell the emotion and anger of the Kendra’s character. When she was happy or sad, she captured every emotion perfectly.
The rest of the supporting rolls, like Jake and Dean, Kendra’s therapist were a little more subtle, than suspected. Jake and Dean had much more of an impact on Kendra than was shown in the production. Yes, this was shown by what was said on stage but it wasn’t shown in an action, which would have been beneficial to the production.
The one thing that could have been done differently was the constant change in scenes which were getting very annoying, throughout the performance. This could have been changed or done in a different way to make the play run smoother. The lights constantly turning on and off was making the audience a bit sleepy.
Target Behavior had a wonderful story line and a great moral to this play, that you can come over anything. If you put your mind to something and strive to accomplish something you will succeed it might take some hard work but if you don’t put any time into something you most likely will not accomplish something.
The world premiere of Target Behavior written by a junior at UMD Caity Shea Violette opened on Thursday night after over a year of working on the writing. Kendra was a girl stuck in a psych ward and she was very stubborn and didn’t seem to want to participate like the other three characters also at the ward. She was very reserved to inform everyone with the events that happened “that night” that got her admitted.
This show takes you on ups and downs, due to the plot and the different personalities of the characters. Kendra was played by Katie Workman, Johanna Dittus as her friend Bridget, Erin Miller and Carla Weideman as Henry and Gracie who were two other patients in the psych ward, and Daniel Novick as Jake, who was her friend in the psych ward. This play was very somber and sad due to the entire story of Kendra very difficult past and present. But director Tom Isbell who has been working with Violette since day one of the play writing, did a fantastic job of really emphasizing two goofy characters to lighten up the mood such as the characters played by Miller and Weideman. This really lightened up the mood of the audience from such a heart wrenching story of Kendra’s life.
In Act II we finally get to see more than a minute of Kendra’s mother Ellen played by Gracie Anderson. This is when the realization of where Kendra’s emotional problems may be coming from. Ellen is an alcoholic and continues to promise Kendra she is sober again just to prove herself wrong by getting drunk. Ellen is clearly not a suitable women to have been raising a child alone and sometimes with the help of abusive boyfriends. The blow out between Kendra and Ellen in which they argue about the Kendra is just like Ellen where they are nothing without someone else. What a moment between a mother and daughter, one which left the audience in complete silence.
This show could not have been what it was without the help of the design crew. Designer Topaz Cooks had the stage set up with three vertical gates that were moved in different ways to signify different rooms; this idea was simple but very effective and easy to understand. The lighting design was done by Kelly Lasley, the lighting fit the moods perfect, and it was a very nice touch to the show. Also in the final scene of the play the light is on Kendra and slowly her whole body disappears in blackout except her face. This was incredible; it left the audience with that image of Kendra and her story.
The numerous scene changes were not in any way a flaw of the show, but a nice break in between emotionally draining scenes and a good break for the audience to take it all in and understand. This performance was a definite success for Caity Shea Violette, Tom Isabell, and the rest of the people involved with the UMD Dudley Experimental Theatre.
The world premier of Caity Shea Violette’s Target Behavior , preformed last Thursday night, left the audience speechless. As the lights dimmed on the final scene, the theater filled with a well-deserved round of applause.
Beginning the play with the expectation of a rather serious storyline, the bitingly sarcastic, yet funny first lines between Kendra and Bridget were refreshing and opened up the audience to receive the more emotional and somber dialogue later in the play. The chemistry between Katie Workman (Kendra) and Johanna Dittus (Bridget) created a set of robust characters that the audience could relate to and believe in. Though Bridget’s fakeness, ignorance, and insecurities were less than attractive, her friendship with Kendra provided the audience a backdrop for Kendra’s lack of self-worth. Workman’s portrayal of Kendra made the audience believe that they were looking at a self-doubting young girl, who was confused and frustrated by the circumstances surrounding her. Workman’s ability to sustain the high level of anxiety throughout the show is praiseworthy.
Workman’s following interactions with Gracie Anderson (Ellen) and Jayson Speters (Patrick) caused most of the deeper emotions to surface and were the crux of the play. Kendra’s spiral into deep depression and her attempts at suicide stem from her broken relationship with her mother and Patrick’s actions against her. Workman successfully portrayed the victimized young woman, while Anderson played a convincing, alcoholic mother who did not understand her daughter and had many inner struggles within herself. Speters in contrast, played the confident, manipulative young man, Patrick, and once the audience learned his true role in Kendra’s decent, he was the character everyone loved to hate.
The most compelling relationship of the play was between Kendra and Jake. Daniel Robert Novick played Jake with ease and his ability to play a range of emotions made Jake a strong character. The news of Jake’s death is a shatter blow, not only to Kendra, but to the audience. The fact that he finally was broken down by the hard life he had struggled through is devastating and feels completely unfair. The play hinges on this moment and drives Kendra forward in her life.
The only character relationship that felt weak in comparison to the rest, though still good, was between Kendra and Dean. The weakness did not come from the lack of quality acting between Workman and Tristan Tifft (Dean), but the dialogue felt forced. Kendra’s first exclamations of refusal to open up and her repeated question of “What do you want me to say?” felt completely genuine, but later on in the show the repeated question took away from the realism of Kendra’s character. Also the fact the Dean never became frustrated, even slightly, is hard to believe.
Though all the characters were well played, a few of them could have been fleshed out a bit more to make the play more believable. Henry and Gracie were used as comic relief at times and a reminder at how sane Kendra really was, but they lacked a depth that made it hard to believe Kendra would come back to work at the institution, especially after Jake’s death. Patrick also felt a bit flat, only because he was the typical older, bad college guy. Having a more conflicted Patrick would have added more depth to his character since most people in life are not completely one sided.
Overall, Caity Shea Violette should be extremely proud of the work she has created, and the cast should commend themselves for how realistic their characters were. Violette, the cast, and crew all deserved the round of applause they received for providing the audience with an amazing story that pulled at their hearts and brought tears to their eyes. Target Behavior is a show that will not be soon forgotten and is well worth seeing.
The Premiere of UMD's Target Behavior was none other than spectacular. An original play written by UMD's own Caity Shea Violette.
Target Behavior opened last Thursday night in UMD's Dudley experimental theatre. The perfect space for a show of this caliber. A simple set, in a simple space was truly what it was. This simplicity was perfect for the high emotions and complexity of the story.
Kendra, a young girl who has been admitted to a psychiatric ward is at first unwilling to participate to begin to deal with her problems from "that night". But as we begin to see in act two Difficulties with Kendra's mother, an alcoholic who is not a suitable single mother, with a broken relationship with her daughter Kendra. Kendra struggles with a deep depression and her emotions were well played to the audience. One would feel that they are a part of Kendra's emotions as the play goes one. As the audience begins to feel 's pain from her broken parenting, and the news of her friend Jake's death.
The characters were well played and some added for some needed comic relief. As a comment of relief, the numerous scene changes were too much for the audience. although they allowed breaks to consider what had gone on, things could get confusing throughout the performance.
a remarkable Job from a student and a play that will not be forgotten, especially in the heart strings of its audience.
Target Behavior which opened on Thursday night at the Dudley Theatre at UMDs Performing Arts Center was jaw dropping to say the least. This two act performance had its viewer’s full attention and respect. What may make the play even more impressive is that it was written by a UMD junior Caity Shea Violette. By the incredible production it is easy to say Caity is a very talented individual and did a wonderful job.
The set which was simple put even more attention on the performance. With only a few black poles for the set the stage was easily transformed from the insane asylum to Kendra’s house. The stage which never consisted of more than a few tables and chairs was able to give the impression that you were experiencing the events in real life. At one point in the performance there was a car ride that had to be improvised with chairs and a steering wheel but it worked out rather impeccable. The lighting at times also helped set the mood. The attention was extremely focused when Kendra was in the asylum and the light was only shining on her creating an environment that appeared secluded.
This performance was about a high school teenager named Kendra who was put in a psych ward after some terrible events. Kendra’s role was to play a depressed girl with some dark secrets. Katie Workman who played the role of Kendra did a stupendous job. She had the audience fully believing she indeed had some deep problems and was struggling with something unknown which wouldn’t be revealed until later on in the play. Going into the asylum would have been quite troubling and lonely but luckily Kendra made friends with some of the other patients. Gracie and Henry were two characters that lightened the mood at times. Henry who had a more comedic role had the audience bursting out in laughter. Gracie on the other hand was troubled at times playing a more intimidating role when she was angry. Both roles were very convincing and overall helped the production come alive to the audience.
Tom Isabell directed the performance that captured the audience. The incredible cast also had a lot to do with the outcome. This is one performance that had a full set of emotions. At one point in the play there would be hysterical laughter and at the next you could see the tears gleaming down faces of the gloomy crowd. Target Behavior deserved the applause they received as the play came to an end and as the lights dimmed.
Target Behavior, written by UMD student Caity Shea Violette, was a very well done production. The performance on Tuesday the sixth of December had audiences both shocked and laughing; it also sparked audible conversation in the audience. The production was by and large student led, though directed by Tom Isbell a professor of acting, and the quality of the show was impressive.
Target Behavior was able to do a lot with a relatively simple set, utilizing lighting as well as simple props to create multiple and very different environments. The initial impression made by the set was very striking, two large barred cage walls backed by a giant broken window mural. Throughout the performance the cage walls were used in various ways, as the walls of a therapist’s office, the walls of a hospital and a home as well as scenery in a park. They were able to add to the mental state of the main character, Kendra, played by Katie Workman, giving every surrounding a feeling of anxiety and discomfort. The use of props was very minimal and tasteful, allowing the play to focus on the dialogue and story. Chairs and tables were used in various ways to create different settings. The set was able to add to the feeling of the story without distracting from it.
Target Behavior was a character driven story, and the cast presented the characters very well. The cast was able to play mentally disabled characters in a way that was respectful and honest. Each of the cast members was very convincing in their roles, the dialogue came off natural and the audience was able to get very involved with the characters and their roles in the story.
The play covered a wide range of emotions, the subject material was heavy but there was also a humor in it that kept the play real. The play touched on subjects important to college audiences, how somebody copes with rape and struggles to stay strong with a lack of support. The fact that it was written by a college student helped to make the story fresh and relevant, it was able to touch on a strong subject and come off believable and not come off like so many school assemblies do.
Target Behavior, a production made almost entirely by students, was a solid play. Any time a play gets the audience to discuss it is a strong production; this play was able to do that very effectively. When the play was happening the audience was involved with the story and the characters, when the lights came up many sat stunned then turned to their neighbors and started talking about what they saw.
Kendra is alone not only in the psychiatric ward where she is being held against her will but in her own home as well. Soon she leads the audience on a journey to discover what happened on “that night” that caused her to be in her current state of depression. The world premier of Target Behavior at the UMD Dudley Experimental Theatre held great promise but fell a little flat in the character department.
Target Behavior written by UMD junior Caity Shea Violette and directed by Tom Isbell had visual charm. The set was simple, effective, and easy on the eyes. The shattered glass background mirrored Kendra’s state of being and gave the play a dreamlike feeling that always reflected back to the main character. The use of the gates to create different areas on stage and the ability to change them back and forth was an ingenious idea by scenic designer Topaz Cooks.
The lighting created a bright white, sterile feeling in the psychiatric ward and warm feelings in the scenes that showed Kendra’s past. Even though the scenes in the park and in Patrick’s car were cleverly lit, it was a shame the backgrounds weren’t as beautiful as the concept drawings that were shown to the public out in the lobby.
The plot of the play was well written and it was entertaining to be transported to different locations with just the use of the iron gates and chairs. The scene changes from the past to the present were handled well, such as the scene where Kendra first meets Patrick in the past to her present dilemma that Patrick started. The climax of the play where Kendra and her mother Ellen fight was amazing and left the audience in shock when Ellen accused Kendra of being just like her.
While this play displays some emotional and hilarious scenes, most of the characters are stereotypical and easily predictable. It’s hard to tell if the characters were purposefully written to be this way or if it was the playwright’s own naivety of the type of characters she’s trying to present. Like in the case of Henry and Gracie, two patients at the psychiatric ward that are used for comic relief but tip toe very close to being insulting to some audience members. The biggest offenders of being stereotypes were Kendra’s best friend Bridget, who seemed like the combinations of all the bad things high school girls are and Dean a therapist who was always patient and kind no matter the circumstance. Maybe, some clues about the character’s past or current predicament in the play would make them deeper and less like wallpaper to make Kendra look better, but as it is now the characters dragged down the performance from being fantastic to good.
The characters might be flat but that is no reflection on the actors’ performances. All the actors performed well and knew how to entertain the audience in such a serious play but there were two actors who stood out the most. Katie Workman who played Kendra showed her character’s mixed emotions and gradual vulnerability from a person with her walls up so high, refusing help from anybody to somebody who was completely decimated after her abandonment and Jake’s suicide with great skill and practiced precision. Gracie Anderson who played Ellen was ditzy and sweet on the outside but showed the true emptiness and self-hatred an alcoholic goes through time after time when they relapse and disappoint their loved ones.
Target Behavior might have some flaws but it’s still entertaining and worth seeing because it causes people to pause and think about how a bad situation looks like it only one thing but it’s often connected to many things that got tanged and decayed along the way. Even though everything seems bleak in the present it will get better eventually.
The world premiere of Target Behavior took place last Thursday evening. It was a play written by UMD junior Caity Shea Violette. It was a two act play that was performed in the Dudley Experimental Theater on UMD’s campus. Directed by Tom Isbell, the cast and crew put on a wonderful performance that made you forget that it was written by a student. The story line circled around the main character Kendra, played by Katie Workman, who had endured a terrible ordeal that was consistently hidden throughout the entirety of the performance. Kendra was admitted into a psych ward to help her deal with her problems.
Violette’s playwriting skills are bounds above where you would expect a student to be. Her character and plot development were outstanding, as you continually found yourself being drawn to feel sympathy for the emotionally unstable Kendra. Also, the secondary characters were also given very strong personalities and were tied in significantly to Kendra and her undertaking of treatment. Her counselor Dean, played by Tristan Tifft, did a great job of portraying a professional stricken with dealing with the evils of the job; staying as the professional counselor or helping a lending hand as a friend. The relationship that Kendra has with her mother was also masterfully done, as you are led to find out that it was one of the major causes of her mental troubles. Her mother, played by Gracie Anderson, was a “recovering” alcoholic and her poor parenting skills coupled with the alcoholism and lack of father figure in Kendra’s life made her mental issues that much harder to deal with. However, by the end of the performance we find out that it was her evening with Patrick, played by Jayson Speters, that was the main cause of her troubles. Speters did a great job of showing that awkward first stage of meeting someone at the very beginning of the performance and later on portrayed a great feel of disgust and resentment towards Kendra. Overall, the cast was a strong point of the production as it was the right blend between having stronger secondary characters, and those “background” characters that were added as the extra pieces to the puzzle. However, both sets add more to the other, as the main characters seem stronger compared to the weaker ones, but both sets are beneficial to one another.
The scene design was very abstract and original, as the background was a meld between shattered glass and the floor. The scene designer, Topaz Cooks, was able to reflect the melding line between realism and insanity that was a subtle line throughout the performance. The iron gates were also used to great effect as they were easy to shift during the scene changes and provided a simple way for quick, subtle changes in scenery. However, there may have been a few too many scene changes in general that started to bog down the pace of the performance.
Overall, Caity Shea Violette did an amazing job of writing this play and the cast and crew did a great job putting on the world premiere of her work!
Target Behavior is the best play I have ever seen! It draws out many different emotions from each audience member. Every actor in this performance took their part seriously. This made the audience feel like they were actually a part of the story; like they were going through each moment with the characters. The lighting helped to create the mood of each scene. The scene changes were smooth. The entire production was very put-together.
This was a very emotional play. As an audience, we laughed and we cried. There were serious scenes balanced out with funny scenes. It took the rape, self-harm, and family issues seriously. At the same time, they threw in a few jokes to break it up. Maybe this was to remind us that no matter what you are going through you need to laugh once in a while.
The relationship between Kendra, played by Katie Workman, and Jake, played by Daniel Robert Novick, inspired both smiles and tears. The audience could feel the comfort and happiness Kendra felt when she met Jake and opened up to him. Later, we felt Jake’s sadness when Kendra left the psych ward. It was heartbreaking when Dean, played by Tristan Tifft, broke the news to Kendra that Jake took his life.
Henry’s character, played by Erin Miller, was funny. The way he liked to be a little too close to everyone, the things he would add to the conversations, and his creepy (but sweet) comments all caused the audience to laugh. He added life to the psych ward and made it seem less depressing.
Every actor was completely in character throughout the whole play. They expressed their emotions – through their voice, their stance, their facial expressions, and their actions and words – in every moment. They were all convincing in their roles.
The lighting created shadows on the stage, which created the mood in each scene. For example, when Kendra was being questioned in the psych ward, the lights were behind the gates casting a shadow toward the front of the stage. This helped show that Kendra felt trapped and alone. The lighting during scenes at the park made it feel more open and welcoming. There were less shadows and green lights shined on the wall to represent a tree.
The scene changes were impressive. The people who came onstage to rearrange the furniture and gates wore matching outfits, which made it seem very professional. There were enough people to get the job done quickly without getting in each other’s way. The actors stayed in character until the lights went down and exited the stage between each scene. This made the scene changes clear without distracting from the story. It was all done in an organized manner, and made the production run smoothly.
The ending left the audience with a sense of hope. Kendra overcame her target behavior, she found a safe place to stay (with her aunt), and she went back to help the remaining two people in the psych ward. Gracie, played by Carla Weideman, and Henry both seemed happy in the end. They were getting along, participating in the group, and laughing together. The characters finding happiness after going through their hard times brings hope to audience members who are going through hard times in their own lives.
I would love to see Target Behavior again. Each collaborative artist did their job well, and they put together an amazing production. It was definitely worth my time and money.
Plenty of emotions filled the room during the performance of Target Behavior written by Caity Shea Violette. Kendra (Katie Workman) was admitted to a psych ward after an unfortunate night. Although being in the psych ward, Kendra did not want to participate like the others that were also in her group. She hardly even let Dean (Tristan Tifft) be aware of her emotions or thoughts.
This show takes you on a roller coaster ride of emotions with all the different performers. Although a very somber and emotional plot line, director Tom Isbell and Violette introduced two very goofy and extravagant characters to lighten the performance at times. Jake (Daniel Novick) and Henry (Erin Miller) were the two goof balls in the psych ward which helped bring plenty of laughs to the audience and also helping Kendra out as well. Although being a bit of a distraught character Gracie (Carla Weideman) also had some funny moments to bring laughter to the play.
As the performance continues we learn little by little of what actually happened to Kendra. We learn that Bridget (Johanna Dittus) is not the best influence on Kendra but none the less she can be a bit funny at times. Kendra finally meets someone who she finally believes likes her for who she is, a college student Patrick (Jayson Speters). However, we learn that things are not always as they seem.
In act II we actually get to really meet Kendra's mother Ellen (Gracie Anderson) for more than just a brief moment. This is when we learn that Kendra's emotional problems may be stemming from her mother and her alcohol problem. Although promising to her that she is sober, Ellen slips up and is caught drunk by Kendra which only sets her emotions on edge more. To top off the unfortunate events that take place, Kendra is reunited with Bridget who invites Patrick over to only have her relive “that night.”
The scene design, although simple worked out very well for this performance. The cracked wall which may have represented a cracked and broken teenager was an excellent choice. Having just several gates for the props also worked very well to signify different rooms and different emotions. All of this could not have been to the level it was at without the help from Scenic Designer Topaz Cooks. Another aspect of the play that was noticeable was the lighting. As we learned it was a dark and cold play for the most part and the lights resembled that feeling. Also, when there was laughter, the lights were on bright which really helped bring out the emotion of happiness.
This was an excellent performance to say the least. Everything moved and flowed very smoothly and was very enjoyable to watch. . This was definitely a performance worth seeing and could not have been to the level it was at without all of the help from Caity Shea Violette, Tom Isbell and the rest of the crew that worked on this show in the Dudly Experimental Theatre.
Target Behavior Review
Kendra (played by Katie Workman) is like any other girl in this country; she just wants to fit in and enjoy life with her friends. Her mother, Ellen (Gracie Anderson), often referred to as “the woman” throughout the performance has significant problems that affect Kendra’s life. She drinks, neglects her daughter, and brings new boyfriends home every day. Kendra was not receiving the loving home life she deserved and because of this, she found herself with a self-harming “Target Behavior” that landed her in a psych ward for months.
While in the psych ward, though, she met some interesting friends. One of them, a boy named Jake (Daniel Novick) who Kendra became very close friends with. There were other people in Kendra’s life before the psych ward like her closest girlfriend Bridget (Johanna Dittus), and Henry (Erin Miller), and Gracie (Carla Weideman) who were other patients at the psych ward while Kendra arrived there.
Patients at the psych ward are all diagnosed with a “TB”, which stands for Target Behavior. Once the patient gets over his or her TB and learn how to react to their emotions differently, they are then released from the psych ward. Every day they do activities led by Dean, their therapist (Tristan Tifft) to get the patients involved socially and mentally with the other patients. Kendra learns that participating and acting interested in the activities will get you out of the psych ward. Jake told Kendra that he had her back and would help her through everything. Meanwhile, while Kendra is getting out of the psych ward, Jakes was not very happy to hear about it.
There are a couple of different scenes where Kendra was in a room all by herself with a “voice” coming from the speakers. The voice was asking her questions about a particular night in her past where she was raped by someone she trusted, Patrick (Jayson Speters) a guy she met in the park. Her and Bridget picked him up and went to a party, but Patrick and Kendra went to a romantic lookout for a bit instead. This event haunted Kendra and it is insinuated this night is what affected her and eventually got her into the psych ward.
This play, written by Caity Shea Violette, a junior at UMD, was very entertaining and fun to watch. There was comedy involved which made the depressing play pop at times and kept the audience’s attention. For a young playwright I was impressed with how in depth the play was and how advanced the script was, also. Caity had an intelligent staff working with her, including her designer, Topaz Cooks, and the lighting designer, Kelly Lasley. The setting for the play took place in many different settings and they pulled it off well with the movable fences, representing how Kendra was “locked” in the psych ward until she recovered. Overall, Target Behavior was a fascinating play and cool to say it was written by a student at UMD.
Before the show Wednesday night in the Dudley Experimental Theatre, the audience was in a sort of hushed excitement. We had all heard about it; a student-written play that was supposed to be captivating, tug at the heart strings, and be a little bit funny. Caity Shea Violette has written a phenomenal play directed at a very serious subject through the use of developed and complex characters.
The show begins with Kendra, the main character played by Katie Workman, in a psych ward. She's being asked to refer to her past, and refuses. This immediately drew the audience's interest as we tried to learn more about troubled high school girl. Violette jumps back and forth from present time in the psych ward to the recent past before the "big event" has taken place. This sort of jump helped to grasp everyone's attention as we piece the puzzles of the story together. All the while we met other characters inside the psych ward (Jake, Dean, Henry, and Gracie) and out in the world (Bridget, Ellen, and Patrick). These characters all impact Kendra in their own way.
While remaining in the institution, Kendra meets Jake (played by Daniel Novick) who seems to act as the most realistic person towards her out of all of the characters. He becomes a true friend, a source of empathy, and the one that Kendra credits her sanity to when she leaves the ward. Henry and Gracie (Erin Miller and Carla Weideman), both fairly shallow characters, fill roles as necessary comic relief for the heavier themes that we move across throughout the play. The final character within the psych ward is Dean, who acts as the leader, doctor, and mentor of the group. He is a therapist at the ward with a very long rope and a cool head at all times.
When Violette jumps to scenes that take place before and after the clinic, we see a glimpse of Kendra's life. One of the first characters we see is her best friend, Bridget (Johanna Dittus), who appears to be shallow and materialistic from beginning to end. Kendra gives this girl too much credit for friendliness at the beginning of the play, and we eventually meet Patrick. Patrick, played by Jayson Speters, ends up being a primary source of Kendra's problems that she needs to come to terms with by the end of the play. Although the character appears to be one sided, Speters does a good job of making his character appear deeper than that. Also included in her home life is Kendra's mother, Ellen (Gracie Anderson). An alcoholic and neglectful mother, Kendra calls her "the woman" for lack of trust and feeling for her. Anderson makes us want to believe Ellen has some good in her, even though she continues to return to her addictions. Kendra also realizes the truth about the shallow character of her best friend, Bridget. Dittus stands up for Patrick and shoos Kendra away in the most appalling of ways, confirming her role and negative impact on the protagonist.
With a desperate need to get away from her awful home life, Kendra realizes the comfort she had in the ward and around Jake was some of the best she had had in a long time. Her decision to return and work there in the end made sense, but felt almost like a last resort decision. After going almost from house to house, losing friends and connections, the psych ward seemed to be her last option.
Caity Shea Violette should be proud of the quality of work she has written at such a young age. Her realistic characters and troubling plot line brought the story to life through a fantastic cast.
UMD took a giant leap premiering a play that is written by a current student. The stuck the landing with greatness. Target Behavior was written by Caity Shea Violette. It all started in a screen writing class, she wrote a scene and people loved and wanted more. So she gave them more and the ending product turned into a masterpiece for the stage.
Target Behavior centers itself around a teenage girl, Kendra, who is having “teenage” problems. Her problems are not like any other teenagers though. Her problems have her winding up in a mental institution. That’s where the story begins. The story goes on as Kendra tries to “fix” her target behavior and overcome her “problem.” The play was dramatic, funny, suspenseful and brilliant. It had many people sitting on the edges of their seats watching as each scene unfolded before their eyes. Target Behavior would not have been successful without the scenic and costume design, the actors, a solid script and director to make such an accomplishment possible.
The scenic design was so simple, yet it set the mood for the entire play. Topaz Cooks was the set designer and her approach to the design was phenomenal. The stage was set with a back drop the looked like broken glass. The stage floor also held two large walls made with black bars. One was on a pivot and would be changed depending on the setting of the scene. Cooks’ intentions were to fit the mood of the play and she fit the mood just right. The set was somber and ordinary just like the main character Kendra. It was also so innovative and it allowed Cook to achieve her intentions of the set. However, the set had some help to achieve greatness. The costumes, designed by Patricia Dennis, contrasted very well with the set. The colors of the costumes brought life and mood into and on to the set. These two designers did a fantastic job with their work for this show.
The acting in this show met and broke all expectations of that night. Everyone that night brought a character that had never been performed before, and brought them to the stage with great talent. The leading lady, Katie Workman, who played Kendra, did a fabulous job. She brought so much life to her character and made her easy to relate to and she can even seem familiar to some. Workman did a great job inventing the character and it would be tough to match her quality by any later performers. All the actors did a great job but another actor that stood out was Erin Miller. Miller played Henry, who was, for lack of a better definition, the comic relief of the show. Whenever something happened that created a lot of tension, Miller was there to break it up and make the entire crowd roaring with laughter. This is the purpose of his character, but the way he delivered his lines and the way he moved his body shyly around stage made for a slightly minor character to be one of the best parts of the show. All of the actors did a great job bringing brand new characters to life.
The play was written by Caity She Violette, a junior at UMD. This is the first time UMD has performed a script by a current student. Violette created eight characters that all were very believable in nature and she created a solid plot for her play. Violette used very realistic dialogue and situations throughout the play, which made for an awesome show. One of the great things about the script was the order that the story was told. During act I, the play switches from present day to the past in an instant. This could not have been done easily without the director Tom Isbell. Isbell did many great things with the show and he truly brought Violette’s show to life, which were his obvious intentions. The most impressive style in his directing was the way he showed change throughout the show. If there was a scene change, it would be known. If a character had changed dramatically, it would be known. If any sort of change happened to anything, Isbell had a way to show it. The best example is of the character’s changing. Not only do they physically change but when they mentally or emotionally change, they are wearing different clothing that reflected that change. Violette’s script and Isbell’s directing made Target Behavior such a superb show.
Target Behavior was a grand show which should not just be held to a college experimental theatre. This play should be produced for very large audiences and it would be an even bigger success than it already is locally.
The Dudley Experimental Theatre's production of Target Behavior, written by a third-year theatre student, was anything but collegiate. The professionalism and sophisticated, realistic grasp on emotions displayed in both the script and the performances of the actors was astounding to see.
The main issue that the play centered around was the traumatic conflicts of the main character, Kendra, which are revealed to the audience bit by bit throughout the performance through flashbacks and many quick scene changes, which gave the effect of a stream of consciousness; a mind moving through thoughts quickly and piecing memories together (perhaps Kendra's own mind?). Although the many scenes and cuts seemed tedious and somewhat wearying, it wasn't too noticeable -- the whole audience was glued to the quickly building plot.
The childhood, self-image, events, and people in Kendra's life have led her to her "target behavior": self-harm. Props to Caity Shea Violette, the talented playwright, for capturing so perfectly a very tough and real issue in many teenagers' lives today. The therapy sessions, Kendra's defensiveness and reluctance to open up to her counselor, the dialogue, and relationship development were just some of the facets of this script that made it easily comparable and yet larger than life.
The performances of the actors, both major and minor, should also be applauded, along with the director who led the casting of these characters. None of their characterizations seemed overdone or like they were trying too hard. Each was completely immersed in just being -- as if they were the characters themselves, as opposed to donning a costume or superficial outer shell of who they were portraying. One actor who did this especially was Gracie Anderson, who played Kendra's mother, Ellen. She projected just the right amount of nurture and maternal love, mixed in with the uncertainty, regret, and instability of the struggling addict she was. It was easy to see how her behavior in the past and over the course of the play contributed to Kendra's emotional turmoil. Katie Workman, who played Kendra, also gave a striking and powerful performance. She just gave so much life to Kendra, making her a real person with real fears and real desires. Workman helped the audience to see, little by little, how extraordinary and multi-dimensional Kendra actually is, instead of just someone who has an issue and learns to get over it. Overall, very strong acting by everyone.
The scene design, although minimal and sterile, was cleverly designed and put together. The symbolism of the barred walls and the cracked glass in the background was very apparent and striking, and the minimal use of props and furniture gave free reign to the audience's imagination, allowing them to see what was there or not there and forming their own version of it.
It was easy to see why a production like this stirred up so much talk around town, with articles in the newspaper and sold-out audiences every night of the performance: Target Behavior was groundbreaking as a world premiere, excellently written (by a young student, no less) as a play, and very fitting as a symbol of the issues of our current day. One young woman's struggle to overcome so many obstacles can easily become a clichéd story, but Target Behavior is in no danger of that; in fact, it shows no sign of being like any other play at all. And that's a wonderful thing.
If there’s one show that’s caused a stir at UMD this year, it’s Target Behavior. Written by student Caity Shea Violette and billed as a main stage production, Target Behavior had much to live up to. In some ways, it rose to the occasion. In others, unfortunately, it fell short of the expectations.
Arguably one of the more important aspects of acting is believability. Target Behavior had a strong cast, that much can be agreed upon. However, there are some characterization issues that may want to be revisited for the future. One such character is Bridget, played by Johanna Dittus. One can appreciate that Bridget is representative of all that is wrong with today’s youth. Narcissistic, ill-mannered and uncaring; this character permeates television today. The problem is that Bridget becomes far too two dimensional and she loses her believability and just becomes a caricature. Another such character is that of Dean, played by Tristin Tifft. Within the production, only two sides of him were seen, neither of which were palatable. One was the cold, unfeeling, robotic voice that is heard during interviews with the main character Kendra, played by Katie Workman. The other was the drippingly happy and irritating Dean that resembled an elementary school teacher more than a psychiatrist. It would have been preferable to see an adult character that Kendra really could look up to during this difficult time in her life. A character that cared for the kids and wanted nothing more than to help them overcome their problems. A more believable Dean.
Target Behavior has the unique ability of being more malleable than other productions. The script can be changed and improved. There are sections in Target Behavior that could be made more apparent or changed so that the characters and situations seemed more real. During the first act, Kendra is talking to a fellow patient, Jake, played by Daniel Novick, about a crack in her wall. She’s describing it to Jake and, out of nowhere, he comes to a conclusion that no one would draw unless it was written out for him. Unfortunately, the specific lines are difficult to recall, but this is one change that could take the relationship forged by Kendra and Jake to a new level. Another subtle change could be during the group session where the kids are coloring in crayon and Gracie, played by Carla Weiderman, screams and runs out. Following the outburst, Henry, played by Erin Miller says, “I’d assume that she’s done using the red.” This probably seems insignificant, however, from what the audience could surmise, Henry had a mental disorder that left him with a childlike mind that made him act like a ten year-old although he was around seventeen. The point being that a character with a disorder like that wouldn’t say that line. He would have said something like, “Mine!” or another childish expression.
Technically, the show was lovely. The set’s backdrop was wonderful and artistically beautiful. The minimalistic set was engaging to look at and didn’t detract from the story at all. The scene changes were graceful and quick, although there were quite a few making the show a bit choppy. The lighting was subtle and added to the simple beauty of the rest of the set. The music fit the mood of the show well and strung the scene changes very well.
Target Behavior had much to bring to theatre department at UMD. New experiences and the benefit of working with the playwright, Caity Shea Violette. As a main stage production, Target Behavior had big shoes to fill. In some ways better than others. UMD’s production of Target Behavior is the base. It is the start of a show’s upward climb. There is no limit to what Target Behavior can and will become.
UMD's production of Target Behavior proved to be a riveting performance that kept the audience charged with emotion throughout it's entirety. Written by UMD's own Caity Shea Violette, Target Behavior displayed an amazing amount of sophistication in how it was written.
Target Behavior was brought to life in amazing fashion by director Tom Isbell and a cast of characters that was unmatched. Kendra, played by Katie Workman, was the main character that was going through therapy in a psychiatric ward. The opening scene of the play had Kendra sitting alone on stage being asked by her therapist to open up and talk about "that night", but she absolutely refuses to. Workman delivered a a stunning character that was full of emotion and allowed the audience to truly feel the pain that Kendra was going through in the play. Gracie Anderson played Kendra's mother and showed the audience a woman that was an alcoholic who had lost touch with her only daughter. Anderson executed this role perfectly by showing the audience what an alcoholic does and how they act, like saying that she's going to quit when in fact, she never follows through. Kendra's friend Bridget, played by Johanna Dittus, brought the audience a character that showed how shallow and down right nasty people can become when trying to achieve popularity. Dittus did a tremendous job in displaying this character that only worried about being popular and finally turned around on Kendra by calling her a psycho and ultimately stop talking to her.
The audience was kept in a haze throughout the entire play about what happened to Kendra "that night." The way in which the events that took place on "that night" was given in a way that only added to the success of the show. The show started with Kendra being in the hospital but it would periodically flashback to certain events that took place on "that night" with each flashback offering more and more information about what happened to Kendra for her to end up going through therapy in the hospital. The way the scenes were set up and how the play was presented was beautifully original and utterly one of a kind. It showed Violette's true skill in delivering a very high level of sophistication and bringing the audience into the struggles that Kendra dealt with throughout.
Scenic designer Topaz Cooks set design was exquisitely simple but capturing and very effective in adding to the success of Target Behavior. The back drop was painted to look like broken glass and two sets of black, vertical bars was where the different scenes took place. This simplicity of the set made the audience focus on the actors and their acting skills. The lighting in Target Behavior also made the audience really hone in on the acting that took place. The audience got a true sense of of what skilled acting from this performance.
Target Behavior was a play that was done masterfully and captured the audience not only mentally, but very much emotionally as well. Wonderful acting, directing, and writing launched this play into what it became, amazing!
This brand new play opened last Thursday in the Dudley Experimental Theater at UMD’s Marshall Performing Arts Center. It was written by Caity Shea Violette, a junior at UMD. The set was perfect for the plot of the play. It was rather simple and relied on the actors’ portrayal and the imagination of the audience. The Dudley was packed and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. There were tears and laughs all around.
Target Behavior is a dark yet intriguing play. It begins in an empty room of a psychiatric ward. After watching Kendra’s own reflection, we find out how she got there. It was one terrible night; a night that changed Kendra’s life significantly and landed her in a psychiatric ward. At first, Kendra resists the doctor, makes fun of his therapy, and refuses to talk about “that night” or anything really. After a while she begins to face the realities and understand that she can’t change what happened but she can change her future.
Kendra is forced to deal with her emotions from that night and the struggles within herself. She shows a great deal of anger towards her inconsistent mother who clearly has had too many problems of her own to worry about her daughter’s. The fact that Kendra and her mom do not understand each other causes a lot of conflict in the play. The mother-daughter relationship brought many emotions and true to life problems into the spotlight.
Katie Workman plays the main character, Kendra who is a very confused, young girl who is searching for peace of mind. Johanna Dittus plays Kendra’s friend Bridget. She does a great job portraying that crazy best friend. Henry played by Erin Miller, Gracie played by Carla Weideman and Jake played by Daniel Novick are her fellow patients in the psych ward. Jake and Kendra became good friends. There were a lot of ups and downs throughout the play. It was an emotional rollercoaster. Some parts will make you want to cry and others make you laugh. Weideman and Miller did a great job lightening up the dark and depressing story line. They gained many laughs throughout the play. The story saddens when Kendra finds out about the loss of her friend Jake.
Kendra learns a lot about herself and others throughout the course of the play. She finally finds her TB or target behavior. This play is new and fresh. It was sensational and a must-see! Violette and all of the actors should be very proud!
UMD’s Dudley Experimental Theatre took a leap into the world of dramatic and tragedy theatre with their production of Target Behavior. Writer, Caity Shea Violette, a third-year student at UMD, did a marvelous job on the writings of this production. The set for Target Behavior was also magnificent, for a play to be in the Dudley the set can’t be very large and can’t be very descriptive as say a production on the main stage, however Topaz Cooks made Target Behavior’s set wonderfully. Although it was not big and flashy the audience could always figure out what location the characters were at. The lighting for the production was also very good and highly creative. From being in the car, with the lit dashboard to the bright white lights of the hospital, every aspect was careful, and greatly lit.
Target Behavior opens with a very interesting first scene. Kendra, a high school student is locked up in a psych ward refusing to talk to the therapist about “that night”, which is hinted to the audience as the reason she is there in the first place. After seeing the starting of this production the audience got a feeling for what type of play this was going to be and right from the start the Dudley was filled with strong emotions, and wondering thoughts. As the play goes on the audience begins to be queued in on certain aspects of Kendra’s life. In Act 1, the audience sees Kendra in the psych ward along with a boy that she meets Jake, played by Daniel Novick, the audience is shown that Jake really helps Kendra along through this journey at the hospital and really makes her not completely hate her time spent there. The other characters at the hospital were Henry, played by Erin Miller, shed humor on this dark play with his lovable character, and Gracie, played by Carla Weideman, was a very odd character, but she also added humor to this production.
As the play goes on the audience gets more flash backs of Kendra’s life at home and it is made apparent that she never really had a good, stable home life. Once Patrick, played by Jayson Speters, come into the picture the audience gets the thought that maybe Kendra’s life will turn around and get better, however when he opens up to her about his dark past and the things his father had done to his mother, the audience is given a hint about the type of character Patrick really is. After the car scene, Kendra is back at the hospital, and in a therapy session when it is made known the reason she is in there, Patrick had raped her. After this scene however, Kendra is shown as being a better person in the hospital and after a while Dean allows her to leave. By the end of this production Kendra returns to the hospital not as a patient but as a counselor to help out the others that are still there receiving treatment.
This production was beautifully written, and the setting and lighting was works of art. The characters knew exactly how their parts were to be played and they delivered an outstanding performance. Target Behavior was ground breaking for the UMD community and hopefully someday for larger communities. A great job to everyone that was involved in this production at UMD.
Target Behavior was an emotional break through, and extreme attention keeping production. It was great to see talent from young UMD students Target Behavior was a worthwhile, must see production. From the actually production, to the lighting, to the sound, and to the characters themselves everyone should see this production.
The simplicity of the way the stage was set up was astonishing. The audience could tell what place was which, even though there wasn’t that much props on a stage. The audience had to make observations about how the props were set up in certain parts of the play. Even with the simplicity of the stage the audience drew a lot from it. The audience interpreted where the actors were in throughout the production based on who was on the stage, and how the stage was set up at the time.
The lighting and sound throughout the production accomplished the mood setting, and made it perfectly visible to the characters. The lighting was bold because there were spotlights on the main character at sometimes. But also there were bold times when the lights lit the whole stage, and just parts of the stage when the characters were in either the living rooms of the main character or her best friend. The sound set the mood, whether it was intense sounding, sad mellow mood sounding, or relief sounding. Sound and lights can make or break the moods throughout the production. Through this production the audience was on the edge of their seats in suspense.
The performers got into character very well. The audience felt the emotion coming from the main character like she had actually gone through that tragedy. The institution performers got into character very well, the audience thought that they were really mentally ill, or had a real target behavior. The performers were in a great character, because the audience seemed to have gotten into the play and believed that the production was a real situation.
This production gave a powerful message to the audience, push through the hard times and you will hit a break through. Tragedies take time to overcome and even longer to look what happen straight in the eye. With the production giving so much negative, and then ending in a hopeful message, it was expected but still amazing.
With the amazing lights and sounds combined with the excellent performances of each individual actor, the stage set up, and the hopeful message at the end of the production made it all a life changing production to see. The audience gave a standing ovation for all the characters, but the way the audience got loud when the main character gave her bow showed that the audience thought she did a terrific job. Overall the production written by a UMD junior, Caity Shea Violette, was astonishing and well writ by such a young woman. The director did a great job with the view on what he saw after examining the play write. It was a must see, terrific performance.
UMD's Dudley Experimental Theatre took on an amazing piece called Target Behavior, which was nothing less than extraordinary. Caity Shea Violette, a third-year student at UMD is extremely talented. This piece was so emotional, but kept you on edge. I believe Violette accomplished what she was trying to achieve through this piece. It was an honor to watch these young, but so talented students put on a performance of a lifetime.
The flash backs intertwined with the therapy sessions made the piece different from normal plays. It was extraordinary to see what Kendra was going through, but at the same time experience what lead up to that point. The intertwined performances created an explosive end of Act I. All of it came together with an emotional explosion of what really happened to Kendra. The audience then understood, and were compelled to learn more.
From an artist perpective the scene changes were so often, but obviously neccesary. The background signified being locked up, being in a prison. Just that simple stage prop with the bars changed the scene completely when they rearranged it, and that certainly caught my attention. The costumes were also very real. It was just like what a normal teen would wear and that made it more real. The lighting and sound came together perfectly, emphasizing the attention on the important moments and important characters.
This production had a key message that was trying to shine through. Life goes on. People go through hard times, but its important to keep your head up and keep going. Kendra was holding everything in and didnt want to remember, but she needed that explosive outburst, she needed to feel that pain in order to overcome it. And thats exactly what she did. It was almost expected to end in a happy way, thats always something to look forward to.
The audience certainly enjoyed this performance with an ending standing ovation. Target Behavior was an astonishing performance, and knowing Violette had so much talent to create this piece makes it all the more worth wild. Greatly recommended to see.
As the lights settle in the Dudley Experimental Theatre, there is an awkward tension in the air. In front of us sits a very minimalistic set: five chairs, a table, a bottle of Mikes Hard Lemonade, and a few magazines. The backdrop exerts a strange ambiance from its “shattered” appearance. The way it smoothly transitions from the wall into the floor gives it a surreal feeling, drawing us in. The gates onstage- used as doorways or walls- with the pure white backdrop appear almost sanitarium-like. The mood is further displayed with the almost tragic sounding music in the background. The theatre slowly fills to maximum capacity as the last few stragglers join the audience. The house lights go down, and the show begins.
Target behavior, a world premier play by UMD’s own Caity Shea Violette, is a play about the main character Kendra (Katie Workman) and her emotional struggles in a psychiatric ward because of an incident of rape from a man she meets in a park named Patrick (Jayson Speters). Workman’s portrayal of Kendra was phenomenal, making the audience thoroughly believe that what she was experiencing was genuine. Speters acting was fantastic, as he really turned Patrick’s character into a villain. Kendra’s best friend, Bridget (Johanna Dittus)- a character more concerned with her hair than her “best friend”, showed that looks can definitely be deceiving. Dittus helped bring the emotional scenes to justice through her sassy attitude and disregard for others feelings. Ellen (Gracie Anderson) is Kendra’s mother, an alcoholic bystander in Kendra’s life. Anderson’s portrayal of a stereotypical alcoholic was nothing short of spot on.
As goes to the psychiatric ward, she meets a number of people. Her therapist, Dean (Tristan Tifft), is an enthusiastic character, trying to help all of his patients. Other patients include Gracie (Carla Weideman) a sarcastic girl, Jake (Daniel Robert Novick) the caring friend, and Henry (Erin Miller) a patient who has a crush on Kendra who has a strange affinity for ketchup. Each of these characters were portrayed flawlessly. Tifft brought out the humorous and caring side, while also showing how dark the psych ward really is. Weideman showed the many sides of a struggling patient, often making witty retorts or screaming “No war stories!” in reference to any negative remarks from Kendra. Novick appeared as a best friend or hero to the rescue, but also brought emotion to the table often telling Kendra to “stick with [him] and [she’d] be okay!”. And let’s not forget Millers role of Henry, who brought many laughs with his strange actions and words.
The set, though very minimal, was very effective in making the setting believable. The pure white and cages, as well as the stage hands dressed as psych ward workers, really made the play all the more emotional. Topaz Cooks, the scenic designer, really made the show fantastic with the various lighting she employed: green light for trees in the park, city lights, car radio lights, etc.
The world premier of Caity Shea Violette’s Target Behavior was an amazing, riveting show. Her playwriting skills are beyond her years, and it was a performance she should truly be proud of. The characters were extremely well cast, and the crew involved should all be proud of the fantastic show that was delivered. Target Behavior was truly an amazing show that was worth seeing.
Kendra is a high school student that had one night that changed her life, which begins "Target Behavior." UMD junior Caity Shea Violette, did an amazing job. "Target Behavior" had a lot of hype to live up to. This play was the talk around town, that a student-written play was going to be the best play Dudley Theatre had ever seen. This play was so great do to the fact that students can relate so well with such an amazing story.
At the beginning of the play Kendra, played by Katie Workman, is in a psychiatric ward sitting on a chair all alone talking to the voice of her therapist Dean, played by Tristan Tifft, about "that night." The audience could most likely assume the basis of what this play was going to be about, and finding out how Kendra got to where she was. Kendra has no words to describe what happened and had no desire to explain in detail what happened. Flashbacks are shown throughout the play that tell the whole story of how Kendra got locked into the ward, where she meets some of the most influential people of her life.
The flashbacks show different scenes either telling the story of what happened to Kendra that night, or when Kendra has her therapy sessions. Which is when Dean is trying to have Kendra open up and talk about everything detail of "that night."
The people that Kendra meet in the psychiatric ward becomes more than just friends to her, they become an influence on her recovery back to living a normal lifestyle. One character by the name of Jake, played by Daniel Novick, did a spectacular job. He became Kendra's best friend by the end of the play, before tragedy struck and Jake ended his life. The audience could not have been more upset and surprised by this upset. One character that always lightened the mood of this upsetting and very powerful story was Henry, played by Erin Miller. He did an amazing drop at keeping his character throughout the play. Saying very childish things and being such an airhead, was the type of comedy that the audience loved seeing.
The scene design was nothing less than spectacular. The Dudley Experimental Theatre does not have the biggest stage to work with, but in "Target Behavior," Topaz Cooks surprised us all. To be able to just use an interesting back drop, and a couple sets of bars to create a scene would be more then difficult. But it was all that was needed to make it obvious where Kendra was at that time. There was many scenic changes, but all were necessary.
"Target Behavior" was more than just the title of this amazing play. It was the message that this play was trying to send out the audience. The message was to move on when life gets tough. Life will always have its ups and downs and when something dramatic happens to you, like what happened to Kendra, you have to be strong and move on.
Caity did such a great job writing such an amazing story. Dudley has never seen such a turn out like "Target Behavior." Everything from the acting, to the message behind the story was nothing short than inspirational.
Target Behavior, written by Caity Shea Violette, is an inspirational, heartbreaking, hilarious, and motivational play. It sends a message directly to the youthful men and women of the society we live in today. Often time’s solitary people are looked upon as outcasts and people are quick to pass judgment even though they know little or nothing about that person. Shea took this cruel fact and created a brilliant story of a girl named Kendra who has been battling with depression most of her life. The play was very well directed thanks in part to Tom Isbell. It was evident that each member of the cast was well instructed in how to move around the stage and time their delivery in a way to achieve maximum satisfaction by the audience. The set, although simple in ways was very effective given the space provided. Topaz Cooks implemented a very creative theme of being broken; this was shown in the backdrop by displaying a large mural that resembled glass being shattered.
Each character brought a different energy to the play which allowed the audience to vary from highs to lows. Kendra was always struggling to find her place in society. Her classmates seemed only to notice her quiet gloomy demeanor which led them to pass judgment, labeling her a "downer" or even a "loser". Kendra was played by Katie Workman who did a fantastic job. Katie constantly used her facial expressions to show exactly how Kendra was feeling throughout the performance. Katie had great timing during her therapy sessions which kept the audience on edge; she also sent non-verbal signals with her body to show her emotions.
Other characters in the play included Dean, Kendra's psychiatrist played by Tristan Tifft. Tristan did a great job playing this part; he acted very professionally and sold his role completely. Bridget, Kendra's high school friend played by Johanna Dittus. Johanna had a hard role to play being that sometimes she was giddy and other times she was furious but the whole time she had to be oblivious to the fact that something was seriously wrong with Kendra. Jake was a boy that Kendra met in therapy, this role was played by Daniel Novick. Daniel did a fantastic job acting very serious and kind hearted while also showing the audience that he was fighting his own internal battle. Henry and Gracie were two other teens that Kendra met in therapy. Henry was played by Erin Miller and Gracie was played by Carla Weideman. These two actors impressed the cast with their comedic timing and vocalization. Patrick, the villain in the story was played by Jayson Speters. Jayson did a great job by seeming innocent and at the same time getting the audience to despise his character. Kendra's mom Ellen was played by Gracie Anderson. Gracie brought a lot of emotion to the stage and grabbed the audience’s attention during her arguments with Kendra.
Katie Shea Violette did an outstanding job with the writing of this play and it was evident that she and Tom Isbell poured their hearts into making this a success which it truly was. The cast fit their rolls perfectly which in the end sold the performance.
UMD's Stage 2 production team strikes again! This time around Caity Shea Violette's world premiere of Target Behavior was the center of attention. The emotional rolle coaster of this production kept the audience on the edge of their seats trying to guess what happens next, only to be twisted around into a new direction. It was an inspirational piece of growth that all audience members can relate to!
It started off with Kendra (Katie Workman) in a one on one interview with Dean (Tristan Tifft) trying to piece together the night that set her downward. The story then begins to recall her night out with Bridget (Johanna Dittus), and their older friend Patrick (Jayson Speters). Throughout the life of the story in the hospital, characters like Jake (Daniel Novick), Gracie (Carla Weideman) and Henry (Erin Miller) emerged to help Kendra along her way to overcome her "Target Behavior." In the end Kendra is able to overcome the obstacle in front of her and grow as a person right in front of the audience's eyes. The three characters Kendra meets in the psych ward were such a perfect compliment to each other. There was Jake who was the rebellious "bad ass", Gracie to shy and quiet type, and Henry the hilarious goof always seeking for approval from others.
The set was very effective in making the setting believable and real to audience members. The pure white and cages, as well as the stage hands dressed in all white to symbolize psych ward workers, really made the play all the more emotional. Topaz Cooks, the scenic designer, really made the show fantastic with the various lighting she employed: green light for trees in the park, city lights, car radio lights, etc. Kelly Lasley, the lighting designer, did an outstanding job of using harsh white over head lights when the characters were in the psych ward, and soft off white lights when Kendra was at home, or at Bridget's house. It made the setting of the play that much more believable.
The overarching message of Target Behavior was that moving on when things don't go your way is critical in life. Kendra was forced into a psych ward to help her realize this truth, and once she did she was able to learn so much more about herself and who she can become. Caity Shea Violette and Tom Isbell really did an amazing job of making Target Behavior the best play the Dudley has put on to date!
Target Behavior opened with its world premiere Thursday night in the Marshall Performing Arts Center in the Dudley Experimental Theatre.
UMD junior, Caity Shea Violette, created a masterpiece that left the audience both moved and stunned. The emotion in this play is marvelously mixed with bits of humor and the audience clearly responded to it.
The plot line was mature and emotional; full of unexpected and carefully placed twists and turns. The cast did an outstanding job of portraying the message of this play and director, Tom Isbell, helped make this happen.
The play opens with Kendra (Katie Workman) in an office of a mental institution. She sets the tone for the rest of the production by expressing her mental state and the sadness of an event unknown at this point to the audience. Act I is filled with flashbacks and scene changes explaining little by little the events of what happened the night of the rape. Characters are introduced, Johanna Dittus as Bridget and Gracie Anderson as Kendra’s mother.
The constant scene changes had to have made the set hard to design; yet it turned out well. These scene changes were confusing at first, and led the play to seem somewhat choppy, however, it was a necessity in the plot of the play.
Act II is predominantly focused on Kendra’s struggle to get back into the routines of everyday life after she is released. She finds her best friend from the institute, Jake (Daniel Novick), has committed suicide, her mother hasn’t overcome her alcoholism, she is reunited with Patrick (Jayson Speters), and her best friend Bridget has betrayed her. Kendra expresses her emotion and need of acceptance by going back to the mental institute as if it is the only place that is safe for her.
The backdrop of the set resembled shattered glass, possibly representing Kendra’s emotions throughout the play and the lighting was artistic and made scene changes easier to understand.
The world premiere of Target Behavior was a definite success. Tickets were sold out for all shows and Caity Shea Violette’s extraordinary plot was a hit with the audience.
Caity Shea Violette writer
Katie Workman kendra
Johanna Dittus bridget
Gracie Anderson ellen
tom isbell director
Target Behavior is a dramatic play written by UMD student Caity Shea Violette. The play was centered around Kendra (Katie Workman), a typical high school student. The story follows her as she tries to cope with being raped and being put into an asylum.
The stage setting, acting and the story all work together very well to convey a very specific sense of distress. The backdrop that resembled a broken window pane was especially effective. Without a doubt, the most impressive aspect of the stage setting was the multiple use of the cage-like apparatus that was set up in front of the backdrop. When we meet Kendra, she is sitting in a psychiatrist session with the cage closed in tight around her. As the play progressed, the cage opened up bit by bit. At the end of the play, it was wide open.
The performances by the actors were great across the board. It was obvious that director Tom Isbell worked very hard to make sure all of the actors understood their characters' personalities and function in the play.
The subject matter of Target Behavior is deeply upsetting as it covers a wide range of issues that are fairly common in today's society. As a result, many of the audience members were able to relate to the characters and the issues they were facing. The final impression that experience left was quite powerful. It is safe to say the play stuck in our minds for at least the rest of the night.
University of Minnesota Duluth’s own student Caity Shea Violette showcased her homework assignment that blossomed into an emotional two-act play called “Target Behavior.” Located in UMD’s Marshall Performing Arts Center, the play was performed in the Dudley Experimental Theater. This small area was transformed into an abstract area serving purpose to a mental institute, home, and even an intense scene that takes place inside of a car.
This flashback-oriented play includes depictions of a painful experience one night as Kendra, played by Katie Workman, is left alone with a near stranger in his car. The aftermath of Kendra’s rape lands her in a mental hospital where she meets many different characters. Each struggling with their own battles, they work as a group to overcome their problems.
One young boy named Jake makes a significant impact on Kendra’s recovery. Played by Daniel Novick, Jake’s character brings hope and additional emotion to the play. A particularly memorable portion of the play occurs when Kendra discovers the fate of her new friend Jake after she is released from treatment. The audience grew stiff, as they waited for the upsetting content to unfold.
Although much of the content focuses around topics of abuse, rape and alcoholism, Violette is able to manage to sneak in multiple laughs. Erin Miller’s character Henry encouraged many laughs. When asked to be partners in a group activity, Henry eagerly scoots his chair clear across the stage in a dramatic and hysterical manor that produced one of the largest laughs in the play.
Because the play’s topic is so serious, the comedic elements sprinkled throughout the play relieved tension. Heavy-hearted therapy sessions lead by councilor Dean, played by Tristan Tifft, contrasted with the cometic outbursts by Henry and the cat-lover, Gracie.
The costumes used in the play were very realistic, and true to the characters. Humble and introverted Kendra dressed conservatively, as her opposite-minded friend Bridget dressed in a more scandalous fashion.
The theater space was well designed. Designer Topaz Cooks used metal bars and a shattered backdrop effectively to portray the feeling of Kendra and the other patients. Location changes were signified by the movement of the black gate-like bars to create a different looking space. Multiple transitions were completed throughout the play in people dressed in white. These actors appeared to be hospital workers, which was a creative way of including them into the story line of the play.
Like the set design, the lighting design was another effective element of the play. Light designer Kelly Lasley used lights to differentiate a happy Kendra from the hurting and upset Kendra. The lights paralleled the emotions of the play well.
As Kendra makes, and terminates relationships, she learns how to effectively deal with her target behavior. Her positive and convincing outcome leaves audience members with an important message: one can not know where they are going, unless they know where they have been. This line parallels the reality of the play’s successes. Play wright Violette may not have produced such a wonderful piece of work if she had not been provoked by an assignment. “Target Behavior” is not just a wonderful play because of the original text, but because of the great set design and lighting design that helped enhance the play’s unique characteristics.
Target Behavior was an intriguing production put on by UMD’s students, along with staff member Tom Isbell as the director. It was a very realistic story that tugged for the audience’s sympathy.
The stage was simply set, with black gates toward the rear of the stage that could swivel to different angles. This was an easy yet effective way to change scenes. The furniture for the play was also simple, consisting mostly of chairs and a table, but was set in a way that an audience member could imagine the location in front of them. The scene where Kendra (played by Katie Workman) came home from the psych ward to her house with her mother (Ellen; played by Gracie Anderson) had three chairs lined up to symbolize a couch, and the 70’s style blanket over the edge of them really brought in the imagination. It was pleasing to see that even those who did not star in the show, but helped move the props on and offstage, wore stereotypical psychward clothing of white pants rising to mid-belly, and a white button down shirt tucked into the pants- this helped emphasis the emotion of the play. The backdrop of canvas painted as shattered glass showed the emotions and confusion in Kendra’s mind- a wonderful idea. The lighting however could have been more pronounced. Changes were not well noticed or acknowledged. The only one I noticed was the shift to green when the scene taking place was in a park. The lighting designer had plans drawn out that I did not notice throughout the play.
Out of all the actors in this production, Daniel Novick (Jake) had the largest range in his character’s emotions. At his introduction he appeared to be chill about everything going on- including the fact of where he was. He seemed like someone who knew the ropes and became a guide for Kendra, encouraging her to just play along in the group activities. As Kendra improves with her activity, attitude, and counseling, Jake drops the other way into anger and aggression, refusing to join in the group activity, yelling at Dean (played by Tristan Tifft) and storming out of the room. Such a range in character takes a lot of skill to pull off believably, which Novick did quite well. For most of the characters, they spoke and acted as a person would in modern day language and customs. Because of this, it may have been more difficult to distinguish their character and make it feel natural, while not acting as themselves on stage, but instead the characters that Caity Violette set out. Henry (Erin Miller) and Gracie (Carla Weideman) were wonderful comic reliefs for this story! Amid the frustration and sorrow, these two characters brought a smile to even Kendra’s face.
The second act of Target Behavior was superior to the first. The story finally pieced together, when Kendra’s life looked like it was all coming together, then all her wounds ripped open again, with an extra stab of Jake’s suicide. The whole story line was well set out- it had two different time frames: the past and the present, each moving forward in time. Violette’s writing was stunningly shaped to find where to end the scenes of the past so the audience could sit at the edge of their seats in anticipation to know exactly what had happened. Violette also wrote the story very realistically to common day words and action of the people- in all the character’s situations.
Target Behavior seemed to please the audience, but not thrill them. The emotion charts and pictures from the group activities from the play on the wall outside Dudley Experimental Theater was a great way to keep the play in the audience’s heads, and to reinforce the characters in the play and their emotions. It was a fantastically well written and acted play, but may be too close to a life we all understand is around us for its memories to be plastered in our minds.
"Target Behavior" has been able to pull of a decent performance, but only just. Caity Violette, a junior at UMD has been able to put together a riveting and interesting story that many people who see the play have been able to understand, if not identify with. Kendra, a young girl, who seems to be in high school or college, has been sent to a psychiatric ward, and her story is being told. The way the story was told melded together flashbacks leading up to the traumatic climax, and real time action at the psychiatric ward.
The cast was really what made this play, since they were able to act their characters emotions very well and make us believe who they were. The Dudley Experimental Theatre was a solid choice for the play to be held, since it was such an emotional show. The spectators were able to feel the emotion and be a part of the play as it was happening. The small stage and sparse use of furniture made the scene changes easier to do, yet not quick enough to make the play feel any less choppy. The storyline of the play went along rather well, with a rape, an alcoholic mother, babbling psychiatric patients, and even a suicide, but the real falling out was the end of the play. Kendra's character suddenly decides that she is going to come to terms with the man who raped her, and that she is going to accept that it happened. This shocking (and ludicrous) conclusion was an interesting and poor choice to end such an emotional rollercoaster as "Target Behavior" had us ride on. Altogether an interesting performance and all things considered, the effort was applaudable and Caity Violette did a wonderful job for one so young.
The Target Behavior’s preview was performed on December, 1st at Theater in UMD. Target Behavior surrounded the matter of anxiety of human’s inner mind by showing a girl’s mentally disturbed high school story. The play starts with the appearance of Kendra, who is a high school student, and her friend Bridget. Introverted and timid, Kendra has a psychopathological aspect which causes her to constantly hurt herself. By being betrayed by a trusted guy, she came to be more unstable and was sent to a mental rehabilitation center to treat her target behavior. What the playwright was trying to say in the Target Behavior seemed to be a conflict between one and the outer world. In the play, Kendra constantly sought emotional comfort, but the people around her and society did not allow her to do so. Betrayal of friend, mother’s alcoholism and suicide of a trusted man finally made Kendra compromise herself to return to the rehabilitation center again. The play seemed to illustrate the Kendra’s story to reveal one’s compromise to a society for emotional comfort.
The Target Behavior’s playwright, Violette, seemed to have a brilliant ability to express an honest and innermost human mind in her play in spite of her short career of playwright. Scenes such as the argument between Kendra and her mother or where Kendra got taken advantage by Patrick represented the truth of human conflict that anybody could have in their lives. Even though the Target Behavior represented a genre of drama, it contained many scenes to giggle and laugh about that showed another play writing skill of Violette, which is combining very different two components, drama and comedy. The scenes at the mental rehabilitation center not only showed progress of Kendra’s treatment, but also was the key element that provided entertainment to audiences. The scenes where Henry and Gracie, who were mentally disturbed patients, made pathological dialogue were always joyful. Additionally, the play was not boring at all as Violette took a back and forth form of showing Kendra’s past and present, in crafting the plot line. By doing so, she seemed to have achieved grasping the audience’s interests throughout the performance.
Based on Violette’s works on the script, actors of the play showed very realistic acting on the stage. Tristan Tifft, who played Dean the therapist, appealed his character to audiences with his calm voice and his aura of smoothness. Tifft, who also played a professor and a preacher in the play Laramie Project, seemed to be very particular in being casted as such characters who seemed to have intellectual and very rational aspects. Without a doubt, his acting skill is significant in forming a character, but his own aura of calmness and peacefulness also could be credited for the forming of his character. Katie Workman (Kendra) and Gracie Anderson (Kendra’s mother, Ellen) in the scene of their argument played a very lively argument with a parent. Ellen who did not want to harm her daughter’s feelings, and Kendra who could not understand the mother and selfishly tried to fill her empty emotional bond, were described by the two actors.
In short, the Target Behavior surrounded the theme of the human mind with the well rounded script of Shea and the realistic acting of the actors. Even if the play was about a serious matter, there were lots of comical elements too.
Rape. It is truly hard to understand the meaning of the word or even what it does psychologically to a person. Target Behavior gives a window into rape, the issues associated with it, and how one young girl can be affected in so many ways by just one act. Target Behavior focuses on Kendra, portrayed by Katie Workman, a teenage girl who is working through her issues in a psych ward at a hospital. At the beginning of the production you really know nothing about her, and as the show progresses she releases more and more information about herself. She shares images of “that night” and there are flashbacks that let people see into her life and the events that led her to be put into the psych ward.
In the hospital she is accompanied by other patients her age. Jake, played by Daniel Novick, tries to give her insight on her new found living quarters. At first she rejects him, seeing him as a freak unlike herself. Throughout the story she starts to create a bond with him, and he tries to help her heal from the many casualties that she has gone through in her life, such as cutting herself and the recent rape. There are two other patients in the hospital that you never really learn much about; Gracie, played by Carla Weiderman, is a girl who has been traumatized throughout her life. This can be determined from her body language and because she lashes out when people talk about unhappy things. The fourth patient in the facility is Henry, played by Erin Miller, who is very introverted and underdeveloped in the way that he acts.
These characters are all incredibly believable. They are the ones that truly went above and beyond to help the playwright to achieve a successful production. Because of the limited set and scene design they were the ones who had to put all of the emotion and feeling into the show. Unlike another recent UMD production, The Foreigner, where the scene set a tone for the production even before the actors came on stage; with Target Behavior the actors had to give all of their talent just so the audience could be placed right into the moment of each event. The frustration and the hurt could be felt throughout the theater and you could tell that the actors felt with their characters because it was so convincing. Not only was the acting in this production convincing, but the playwright herself was utterly remarkable.
Caity Shea Violette began as a playwright in 2008 after she was selected to participate in a playwriting intensive while attending the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts. The idea for Target Behavior began a year and a half ago in one of her playwriting classes. Since then the script has gone through 20 or so revisions, and even a concert reading last November. There were numerous hours of hard work and dedication that went into this play and every minute of it was worth it. Shea truly captured the essence of the issues that a teenage girl can go through. She made Kendra into a character that had to overcome many hardships in her life, and who sometimes did not deal with them in the best of ways. Kendra’s best friend, Bridget portrayed by Johanna Dittus, was no help in the matter either; telling Kendra the she was a bore and needed to loosen up a bit.
Shea made Kendra into a character who had to deal with an alcoholic of a mother, an absent father, and the mental hardship of cutting, and that was all before she got raped by a guy she barely knew. Shea was trying to achieve a convincing portrayal of a teenage girl, and her many hardships as she tries to find herself, and that is exactly what was accomplished with Target Behavior and in an outstanding way.
The approach the Shea and her director, Tom Isbell, took to this production was incredible. They went at the issues that were being given to the audience in a new and interesting way. Target Behavior consisted of difference scene changes that were limited to merely a few objects and a thought provoking story line that consisted of real life and flashbacks. By the way that the show turned out it seems as though their visions came together wonderfully for a beautiful collaboration. With all of its different elements Target Behavior was a huge success. Hopefully there will be many more endearing playwrights from Caity Shea in the near future.
Target Behavior, written by UMD's Caity Shea Violette, was an incredibly well done and moving production. It was hard to believe the entire play was written by a junior. The play takes the audience on a journey with Kendra during her stay in the psych ward. We uncover, bit by bit, what happened "that night". We get scenes from the past coupled with information in the present, and we as the audience have to piece together this puzzle. Its an incredibly emotional trip, and I was impressed with how often I found myself caught up in sympathy or some other emotion for Kendra. The supporting characters were also portrayed very well. The relationships Kendra develops throughout the play with her therapist Dean and the other patients like Jake are what really made the performance feel real to me. The comic relief Henry and Gracie provided during some of the heavier moments was perfectly done.
All the actors put on an outstanding performance. Kendra, the main character, played by Katie Workman, was one of the most believable characters I've ever seen. She just made Kendra seem so real, so many layers and emotions. Henry, one of the minor characters, played by Erin Miller, also particularly stood out during the show. Every one of his clever lines or awkward movements to break up tension would send the audience roaring with laughter.
The lighting was another really cool and unique aspect of the performance. The white bright lighting while in the psych ward was perfectly done to make the audience feel like we were in a hospital. The contrast to the warmer colors in Kendra's memories reallu helped create a different environment altogether. The shattered glass backdrop and barred walls was also really cool. It really helped carry the sense of depression Kendra was feeling to the audience.
Its not hard to see why this show has been getting rave reviews across the board. With every performance sold out and the reviews in, its pretty obvious Caity Violette has created an outstanding piece of art and has a long promising career ahead of her.
Everyone has their own TB in side of them and this play shows the awesome story of a confused girl that is seen and heard of all the time. Target Behavior was a brilliant play showing all the situations that happen to Kendra (Katie Workman) and how she got to be in the spot that she was in. Locally written by UMD student Caity Shea Violette, she has captured the disturbed mind of a young high school girl and the story that she shows in her play is one that everyone can look at and feel for the main character. The play opens with a spot light on Kendra in an empty room with a voice asking her questions that a very scared and shy Kendra doesn’t want to answer. From that scene the audience is all ears to see what happens next in this girls disturbing life story.
The script of this play was written very well. Violette took the lives of millions of disturbed kids in today’s world and made it very clear to how things like that happen to young innocent kids and it really shows how the environment around you can complement to your mental state of mind. Kendra is living in a mental institute at the beginning of the play which is where she went after an “incident” that had happened to her but you don’t find out what that is until later in the play. As the play goes on you meet an array of different characters that she lives with at the mental hospital that are trying to rid their “Target Behavior’s” that have brought them there in the first place and you meet all the people that contributed to Kendra’s TB.
The acting in this play was magnificently portrayed by some very good talented young acting. The reason this play worked so well for the young actors is because this play was written from a high schoolers point of view and having the actors not very much older than the characters that they were playing is something that helped them. Katie Workman did an amazing job of letter her inner “Kendra” comes out in her performance. All the actors were very believable and looked like they knew what they were doing and what they should be doing with the words and how comfortable they are with the acceptation of two of the characters. Another actor that did a very good job portraying their characters were Tristan Tifft who played the part of Dean and Daniel Robert Novick who played the part of Henry. The acting in this play was very good and some of the best acting that I have seen in a play this year so far.
The setting and scenes of this play were very simple but worked tremendously with the plot of the play. The set was very bare having only two or three different tables and at most 5 plastic chairs that were used in every scene but they helped keep the importance of the plot message stay the most important part of the play. Right when you walk into the theatre you see a giant white piece of paper with a huge crack in it that at the beginning you don’t know what it is for but at the end you see that the background image is amazingly simple but it still tells the story of the whole play.
The lighting in this play is very minimal but that’s what makes it so brilliant. The darker dimmer lights used in a lot of scenes in this play show just how dark this girls life is and it works very well with the play as a whole. At the moments when there is a spotlight on one character (usually Kendra) it shows you here most vulnerable times and it really lets you look at her face and Workman does such a good job of portraying a girl that is hurting inside but trying to hide it on the outside.
The sound in this play was very good also. The Dudley is so small that when the actors showed emotion you could not only hear the pain in their speech but you could see it too. The lonely ness projected from Kendra’s voice out into the crowd and that is one of the things that make this play so emotional is that you can hear the pain in all of the voices.
Costumes in this play were very basic also because the play showed normal people living in the normal world with some exceptions; the costumes that were used were perfect. The cloths that were worn in this production are things that I see every day walking around the city because they were every day cloths that anyone would be able to wear.
Target Behavior is a must see for everyone because a play like this hits home to everyone that has had any trouble in their life. It deals with problems at home, problems with the opposite sex whether that is girls or guys, problems with friends and most importantly it deals with the struggles of you as a person and how you deal with the bad things that happen to you. This play is very touching and will cause the audience to stir up a whole group of different emotions all throughout the play.
Target Behavior by Caity Shea Violette was a play that started with anguish but ended with hope. The plot was very intriguing, the set was the most creative of any play this year, and the actors were outstanding!
The plot for Target Behavior kept the audience entertained the entire play. Violette did a fantastic job writing her first play for UMD. The opening scene instantly caught the audiences attention and help set the base for the entire play. Although the scenes were often short, each and every one was still filled with entertainment and vital information. The short scenes also helped the audience stay alert. Although an aurora of darkness was present the entire play, Violette was still able to slip in bits of comedy. Target Behavior seemed to be targeted at a college age audience, but older viewers would still appreciate this magnificent play.
The set of Target Behavior was the most creative of the year thus far. Scenic Designer, Topaz Cooks, did a phenomenal job creating a simple yet obscure set that fit the play stupendously. The tall black gates helped give the feel that Kendra was trapped and had no where to go. With slight adjustments of the gate being open to closed, varied the feeling of being trapped. The ridged lines running from the ground up to walls gave the feeling of chaos. It made the audience feel as if they were inside Kendra's mind. With the little money available, Cooks did a remarkable job creating a set that could not have fit the play any better.
The actors in Target Behavior were spot on. Katie Workman, who played Kendra, displayed emotions that brought the audience straight in to the play. She did not stumble once on her lines and was the perfect actress to play Kendra. Henry (Erin Miller) and Gracie (Carla Weideman) were able to bring laughter to the audience during a somber play. Their skills really made the audience feel as if they were in a real psych ward. Jake (Daniel Robert Novick) was the character that everyone fell in love with. His helpful, loving personality really made the audience appreciate him. During the scene when Dean tells Kendra that Jake died, the audience went completely silent, showing their true care for Jake. Every actor fit their part perfectly.
Target Behavior is a play Violette should be very proud of. From the plot to the actors, this play was a gem. Target Behavior will forever go down as one of the greats of UMD.
The Marshall Performing Arts Center presented a unique new play last Friday night as Target Behavior was shown in the sold out Dudley Theatre. Target Behavior proves to be unique in how current and relative the subject matter is to the teens and adults of this era. Target Behavior uses new perspectives and theatrical techniques to ultimately tell the story of a girl who has been raped.
Trying to tell the story of a rape victim is especially dangerous. When the subject is not taken lightly the results can be offensive and awkward. Target Behavior’s solution to this was characters that provided situational relief. Henry (Erin Miller) and Gracie (Carla Weideman) were two characters that were able to not only support the main character Kendra (Katie Workman) who was the teenage victim of rape, but the audience itself by shedding some light on a dark subject.
Miller and Weidman played two institutionalized teenagers particularly well. Miller is successful in playing the childlike Henry by showing signs of normalness and hope. Weideman did well at showing excitement and life in a clearly troubled soul. Workman played the victim Kendra who has clearly been affected by mental hatred, but at the same able to show compassion and love towards the friends she makes in the ward. Workman’s splendid performance showed the two sides to a soul that had been ripped in half. Henry, Gracie, and Kendra were all able to represent hope in their own way.
Of course on the flip side there is doubt, and without it this story has no meaning. Target Behavior includes five more characters that are troubled. Dean (Tristan Tifft), Patrick (Jayson Speters), Jake (Daniel Robert Novick), Ellen (Gracie Anderson), and Bridget (Johanna Dittus) all proved to have their fair share of gloom. Tifft’s character Dean was a shrink that had a great heart, but couldn’t help be affected by the actions of his patients. Tifft also voice acted over a loudspeaker throughout the play in his interviews with Kendra. Novick played Jake who was the most mentally ill, and eventually took his own life to the ultimate despair of Kendra. Jake’s death holds much reality. The suicide rate of teenagers is disturbingly high, and in the play represents this looming doubt in life.
Target Behavior is a story about rising above the looming doubt and recognizing hope. It’s really cool to see UMD put on a risky play that was written by a current student, Caity Shea Violette. Caity Shea successfully bridges the gap between teens and adults of this era on the subject of rape. The fact that a college student wrote this play is what gives Target Behavior that unique perspective that ultimately symbolizes hope.
Frustrating, complex, and realistically abstract. These are the words that could be used to describe Target Behavior by Caity Shea Violette and directed by Tom Isbell. Target behavior was about a young women who ended up in a psych ward and working through “that night.” It portrayed this young woman named Kendra in both group sessions and one on one sessions with her therapist working through “that night,” the night she was raped.
Although the night she was raped seemed to be the biggest focus there was also many other focuses. Like her mother being an alcoholic, her coping mechanisms or as they put it in the play her target behaviors, her best friend being self-absorbed and inconsiderate, and finally the death of the guy she leaned on; Jake. All of these made good storylines but it was just too much for the length of this play. If the play was longer or done as something like a trilogy, it would have made the play a lot more affective. It would have given the audience more time to connect to the emotion that should have been portrayed for each event that took place.
Emotion; this play could have been more emotional. Maybe it was the lead actress, there wasn’t enough there. Something was missing; the tone she attempted to portray lacked the spark that was needed to create that gut wrenching intensity the audience should have gotten. This could also go back to the fact that too much was going on in the storyline at one time. From the beginning the play should have introduced the relationship between Kendra and her mother because that almost came out of nowhere taking away from the focus on the rape and the time she spent in the psych ward.
The setting and the way the visuals were set up was very clever and abstract. The shattered walls, the tall gates that almost seemed like prison bars these things really created the atmosphere. This is the one thing that really portrayed the emotions that the characters lacked.
Over all, the play writer had a great idea but this idea could be expanded and be made even bigger.
Target Behavior, a play written by UMD’s very own student Caity Shea Violette, turned out to be an amazing play. Not only was it a well written play but how it was carried out was amazing as well. It was hard to believe at first that this play was written by a junior at UMD, not to say it as if there isn’t any talent at UMD, but rather a “wow” statement. How the play was set up was really great because it takes the audience on a journey of what happened to Kendra and her recovery stages. It was very interesting because in each scene they did a past scene then a present scene, and as the play went on the audience could see the growth of Kendra and her dealing with the situation that she went through. This was a very edgy play because the topic of this play was “rape” and the effects of it. The production took the audience to the scene of the rape then to the psychiatric ward where Kendra was emitted too.
Although this play was in the Dudley and not the main stage theatre, it was perfect because the Dudley was just what this play needed. The stage was very simple and didn’t need much because the storyline of this play was already powerful enough to keep the audience on their toes and not worry too much about the set. With very little adjustments to the stage it was obvious the scenes changed and the place was different. Along with lighting it really helped change the setting of each scene. So the choice of the Dudley theatre over the main stage was a great choice because as stated before the story itself is a very powerful story and already is intriguing enough for the audience.
All in all this production was a great outcome, because it not only shows that UMD students are talented actors/actresses but that UMD has great play writes as well. And to add this was a sold out show for all the nights. This was an amazing production done by UMD.
Phenomenal was only one of the words that could describe UMD’s performance of Target Behavior. This play explores the coping side of serious issues such as a broken family, rape, and how far one will go to put their life back together. The audience watches the characters progress as they overcome more than just their Target behaviors.
The play was extremely well written. Caity Shea Violette blended serious issues with teenage humor. The play was an accurate portrayal of some of the issues a teenager goes through including acceptance, friendship, and family issues. Violette’s characters were strong representations of how complex people can be and were well developed. The scenes flowed together as the audience witnessed flashbacks intertwined with pieces of the present.
The director, Tom Isbell brought Violette’s characters to life. He used his stage teams to the best of their abilities and tied everything together. Isbell was able to draw out the emotional sides of each character and continue to build on top of them. The audience was drawn into the performance.
Katie Workman was outstanding as Kendra. She conveyed all of the emotions her character was going through. She was vulnerable and lonely when she met Patrick (Jayson Speters). She was uncertain and self-conscious around Bridget (Johanna Dittus), and scared and closed off when she was in the psychiatric ward. Dittus expressed her character very well. She was blunt, pushy, and bold. A turning point in the play is when Dittus says that maybe Workman is crazy and deserved to be in the psychiatric ward. The audience gasped as it felt like a knife. Speters actions and dialog accurately depicted the awkwardness of when you first meet someone to happiness to see someone to dislike. Gracie Anderson as Kendra’s mother showed the audience a mother that is an alcoholic and concerned more about herself than her child. The climax of the play is when Anderson argues that Workman is just like her by clinging to people to get her through situations.
The other patients in the psychiatric ward brought a humorous balance to a serious plotline. Jake (Daniel Novick) kept referring to Workman and the newbie or fresh meat. He was a friendly face and helped Workman open up. Henry (Erin Miller) and Gracie (Carla Weidman) were quirky characters but complex none the less. Their unusual behavior made Workman feel more isolated. Miller drew out many laughs as his childish character emerged. Dean (Tristan Tifft) communicated the stereotypical therapist. When it was just the voice above Workman, he asked how she was feeling that day, if she was happy. Tifft conveyed the kind, concerned, and caring emotions as he worked with his patients throughout their therapy.
The scenery for Target Behavior was simple but it had an impact. The barred gates that pivoted depending on the scene emphasized the isolation the Workman was feeling during her stay at the psychiatric ward. The gates around Workman also resembled a cage that she had to overcome. The crack as a backdrop fit perfectly as it mimicked shattered glass. It symbolized how one act can shatter a person and completely change their life.
The lighting was cleverly designed. Harsh white light was used in the psychiatric ward to give a clean and sterile atmosphere. Softer yellow light told the audience that this was a piece of Workman’s memory. Blue and green light highlighted the meeting in the park. The city over look was well done. It definitely enhanced the scene when Speters and Workman were alone in the car.
The world premiere of Target Behavior was wonderfully performed. Violette’s creative take on a serious issue and Isbell’s interpretation came alive onstage. The cast breathed life into the characters. All of the special effect worked together seamlessly to form a play that was worth seeing.
The world premiere of Caity Shea Violette’s Target Behavior, took the whole theatre on ride of emotions. Laughter, fright, shock, happiness, sadness, and most of all hope filled the Dudley Theatre.
The chemistry and realism of the characters where extremely refreshing, Katie Workman (Kendra) and Johanna Dittus (Bridget) were so believable and relatable. Bridget with her fake, ignorant, selfish, carless persona was clearly expressed. A girl no one wants in their life, but seems to come across a few times in their lifetime. Kendra drew the audience in with her teenage turmoil. Self-centered best friend, drunk for a mom, and only father figure was an abusive dad, and boyfriends the mom met at bars. Her frustration and anxiety caused by these circumstances were of great sadness.
Gracie Anderson (Ellen) successfully portrayed a drunken mom where alcohol was keeping her from having a relationship with Kendra and having any understanding of her hardships. Then to top it all off when she finally starts experiencing some happiness by meeting this older guy Jayson Speters (Partick) he lures her in her car and rapes her. Patrick was the guy with the charming smile that everyone loves, making it super easy for him to manipulate anyone he wants. After Kendra was sent away he did his magic Bridget, making her care more about him then her, even after she opened up to her about what happened.
Then in the least likely circumstances Kendra meets a boy in a treatment center name Daniel Novick (Jake). With his witty charm and true characteristics of a caring/ loving man, all you could do is smile as his interaction with Kendra. Not long after Kendra’s release Jake and self-hate got the best of him. He took his life, after morning the loss, she used his death to propel her to move on and be strong.
Erin Miller who played (Henry), a young man with obvious psychological disorder, respectively kept throughout the whole piece, making it believable. He added the comic relief with his witty one liners, and his simplicity of life.
Overall, Caity Shea Violette did a phenomenal job, and I feel honored to know I go to school with her. She was able to draw us in, make us leave reality for an hour or two, and just feel the emotion of the actors and what they were trying to portray. They may have not all been positive but they were felt an appreciated.
The set of Target Behavior, by Caity Shea Violette, reminded me of The Nightmare Before Christmas being little more than black and white, at first this seemed to distract from the other characters who wore quite colorful clothing. As the play progressed however this distraction lessened but was still noticeable. It was also impressive how much was accomplished with little more that tall cage-like fences chairs and tables. Every scene was distinguishable from the other and became easily recognizable. If anything the only complaint would be the amount of time it took to set up each scene. Every time there was a scene chang the whole play felt like it came to a stop, this became especially annoying during flashbacks and when Kendra (Katie Workman) ran from Bridget’s (Johanna Dittus) house to her mother’s (Ellen played by Gracie Anderson) to the psych ward. The design was wonderful but perhaps needed a bit more tweaking to allow scene changes to happen fluidly.
The world premiere of Target Behavior was nothing less than spectacular.
The cast delivered a refreshing performance that left the audience satisfied at the UMD Dudley Experimental Theater on Wednesday. The playwright, Caity Shea Violette is currently a junior at UMD. The idea for the brilliant play started over a year and a half ago and has also received a concert reading.
The plays opens with Kendra (Katie Workman) having a conversation with Dean (Tristan Tifft) about what happened that night. Kendra is instituted into a psych ward for months due to her TB of inflecting self-harm after the incident that happened. The audience got acquainted with the other cast during group therapy with Dean. Jake (Daniel Novick) played a very convincing supporting role, as a friend that Kendra could talk to openly for advice despite the fact that she felt lost and confused. Their relationship could be felt by the audience as they go through roller-coasters of emotions in the psych ward. Henry (Erin Miller) and Gracie (Carla Weideman) characters introduced some laughter that helped ease the pressure and seriousness that surrounded Target Behavior. The audience responded positively to Henry comedic character, they were plenty
of laughs from the audience.
Other characters in the play included Bridget, Kendra's high school friend played by Johanna Dittus, Patrick (Jayson Speters) the villain in the story and Gracie Anderson as Kendra's mother, Ellen. Ellen played the role Kendra's difficult mom. Gracie performance added a lot of emotion to the play. She portrayed a classic alcoholic that is confused and trying to reconnect with Kendra. Also, the audience had their full attention focused on the stage during her climatic fight with Kendra. Jayson performance was spectacular because he was able to convince the audience to think he was innocent until the concluding story unfolds.
The scenic designer topaz cooks did a good job with setting up the stage with tall gates and web-like mural on the background. The gate worked well to distinguish between different rooms by changing the tilt angle. Also there were very little additional props on stage; this idea helped keep the audience attention on the characters instead of what was on stage. Lighting designer, Kelly Lasley, created the moods by focusing and adjusting the lights perfectly for each scene.
Tom Isbell directing of Target Behavior was amazing, the cast worked to perfection to deliver a convincing play that kept the audience interested.Overall, Target Behavior was an entertaining and passionate play. It left the audience members with excitement and hope after the show was concluded.
Target Behavior, by Caity Shea Violette, was an outstanding play. Each of the actors were believable in their parts especially Katie Workman (Kendra), Jayson Speters (Patrick), and Daniel Novick (Jake).
Workman performed outstandingly with all of the tragedies she faced. She was vulnerable not having a mother she could depend on, strong after facing rape and being almost convinced of it never happening, and she was determined to get healthy enough to leave the mental hospital.
Speters produced anger amongst the audience. They way he projected his voice to the audience especially when he was expressing frustration toward Workman showed confidence in his acting and confidence is essential in getting an audience to believe.
Novick played a best friend role toward Workman. He expressed this first and foremost by extending his arms to embrace her and it created a warming environment for her and for the audience. He was wonderful at making the atmosphere calm yet he showed a vulnerable side to him when he found out Workman was leaving the mental hospital.
One part of the play which could have been looked further into was the ending. The play had a very inspirational ending filled with hope that people who've gone through so much in their lives can always see the optimistic side of life. But what happens to Patrick and Bridget? Why doesn't Patrick get into trouble for his actions? Does Bridget ever find out who Patrick really is? Perhaps this is a lead for another story to take place.
The dudly stage still continues to let loose one emotionally gripping play after another. This time, through the works of a UMD student. Not only was it student written it was acted out by talented students actors and designers. Better yet, it was making it's world premiere which was exciting. The play Target Behavior focuses on the lives of teenage girls and rape. The play focuses around a girl named Kendra, a teenage girl who is checked in at a psychiatric ward. The play then leads the audience through her present situation at the ward, and flashbacks back to the incident that happened to her. Since the play takes us to a whirlwind of places, you think there would had to be a lot of scene changes. But, the scene designer saw this and made their own, way to tell the audience what they're experiencing. How the designer accomplished this was using a gate system that can be folded up opened to show different places. The lights actually helped with this too because it made a cool reflection of the gate off the back wall.
Since the play was such and emotional roller coaster, it was a great pick for the Dudly. The close proximity of the actors to the audience makes the actors job to express their characters emotions easily.
Target Behavior is a emotionally, gripping story that takes you through a long road of accepting and pushing past you're greatest setbacks and looking to the future. Congrats to Caity Shea Violette for making such an amazing play.
Target Behavior is play written by Caity Shea Violette, directed by Tom Isbell and produced by University of Minnesota Duluth Theatre. The play is about high school student named Kendra who is held in a Psychiciatric institution for cutting herself. Kendra, Katie Workman is initially adamant in discussing her rape episode with her therapist, Dean (Tristan Tifft) but eventually gives in piece by piece.
This play is a two stage performance with Kendra as link between. The first stage took place in a psychiatric institution with Kendra, her therapist, Dean and other residents; Erin Miller as Henry, Daniel Robert playing Jake and Carla Weideman perfecting Gracie. The second stage is a mixture of flash backs of Kendra past, her encounter with Mom Ellen (Gracie Anderson), her friend Bridget, Johanna Dittus and Peter, played by Jayson Speters.
The play starts at the ward with a voice asking Kendra questions. It proceeded to flash backs in stage two, offering the audience some glues about Kendra’s journey to the psychiatric institution. Trough back and forth performances, Kendra tabulations of having alcoholic mother Ellen and being a raped victim are let out. These scenes are chilling and one can help but feel sorry for the character- Kendra. Her Mother, Ellen is a heavy drinker and is always in some unstable relationship. These short comings adversely affect her parental responsibility and she seemed to put men before her daughter.
In stage two, the audience is also introduced to Peter who befriends Kendra but their acquaintance takes a disastrous turn and leaving Kendra with long lasting trauma. The young man is clueless and rationalizes rape in an extremely twisted way evidenced by the following quote “you wanted it”. In this section too is Bridget, Kendra’s friend whose idea of good time is partying and boys. The character by Johanna Dittus is funny and friendly but also shallow minded. She is too trusting in Peter that she doesn’t believe he is a rapist and would rather jeopardize her longtime friendship with Kendra than confront the truth.
Generally, Target Behavior is a fairly thought and written play. The actors were believable and performed their roles very elegantly. Katie Workman capability of fitting into her character in both stages stood out among others and some of her rape description scenes sent the theater dead as a Dodo. The stage and lighting provided the audience with sense of environmental changes. For instance, the gate-like bars symbolized a closed environment-locked unit. Frequent darkness between the scenes gave a sense of time, something paramount to audience understanding the play events.
Few flows were noticeable. There was too many scenes changes and interrupted the audience from the following the play. The audience were taken to and fro sometimes that it took time to put whole story together.
Sunday afternoon I attended target Behavior at Dudley Experimental Theatre, directed by Tom Isbell. This was a student written production; Caity Shea Violette a junior at the University of Minnesota Duluth incredible. Kendra was a teenage girl who was hit with a series of unfortunate events and throughout this production you see her grow as an individual. The ending was good and the point was made clear yet, it was lacking something. Even though the ending was rather raw, the feeling of being changed or elevated by the production was not taken away from the theatre.
You could cut the tension in the theatre with a knife. The realism, the hard core, ugly truth was defiantly a reality check for these characters and as a member of the audience one could in fact be impacted by what was going on, on stage. Kendra had a difficult life. She had an alcoholic mother, she was taken advantage of by a college student, and she had self inflicted scars all over her body. While she was institutionalized she started to find herself with the help of a gentleman by the name of Jake. In the end Jake commits suicide. Teen suicide, alcohol, and being taken advantage of are all issues of this new generation. Yes these are considered risky topics and people usually like to avoid talking about them but it was an eye opening production. It was impossible to not feel something for the characters. Anger, sadness, regret, sympathy, relief and happiness are all emotions that audience members felt during this play at one point or another. They say that the Dudley Experimental Theatre is known for taking risks and Sunday afternoon the cast of Target Behavior took a great leap of faith and owned the stage.
Target Behavior was very well produced, however the ending was weak. The point was made clear and understood by the audience but individuals of the audience were expecting more. By this point people were intrigued by everything that was going on in the play that they could imagine the ideal ending. That being said it was a little bit of a letdown. Kendra had released all of her anger and was a changed person; that was recognized by the audience but the people wanted more.
Target Behavior had an outstanding script and many people were really impressed by the work of Caity Shea Violette. The hit of reality was exhilarating. She had opened a door that many writers and producers tend to keep shut. Many people could relate to one thing or another in this play and it touched the nerves of countless individuals. Even though the ending was not ideal the production as a whole was not affected; hats off the cast and crew of target behavior.
Thursday night’s performance of Target Behavior at the Dudley experimental theatre can be summed up in one word: fresh. This play was written by Caity Shea Violette, a UMD junior, and it was the first time this play was performed in front of an audience. Remarkably, Violette is able to take the audience right into the world of Kendra, a high school teen who is trapped in a mental hospital.
As the play develops, the audience comes to understand and sympathize with Kendra and her situation. Kendra, played by Katie Workman, is a complex character who is lost. From the beginning monologue to the final scene, Workman gave an incredibly real and convincing performance. It isn’t until the curtain comes down that the audience realizes the scope of Kendra’s transformation as well as the other deep characters’ transformations in Target Behavior.
Playing Dean was Tristan Tifft and like Workman, his performance was excellent. Tifft was Dean, Kendra’s therapist and was comically funny at times, but also was spot on when the play called for his character to be serious and consoling. This show was very well casted from top to bottom which put this already incredibly written show over the top.
What made this play so real and fresh was undoubtedly the writing. The plot of Target Behavior had elements of everyday life throughout. Every character, every scene, and every plot mechanism was completely believable. Violette has an amazing talent for writing and it was on display Thursday night at the Dudley experimental theatre. One of this play’s greatest strengths was its dialogue. The characters in Target Behavior engaged in compelling and real arguments that the audience could relate to. Specifically, Kendra deals with addiction and so does her mother and they have a back and forth in act two that feels so real that it is as if the audience is in the living room with the two of them while they argue.
With a low budget, Stage 2 had the difficult task of designing a set that featured multiple locations. Set Designer Topaz Cooks used just a few chairs and tables and was able to bring the audience into the world of Target Behavior. There was no scene in which the audience was unable to determine where the story was taking place. Without the work from Cooks, Target Behavior would not have been possible.
The Audience on Thursday night gave the cast and crew of the show a standing ovation and I am wondering if that wasn’t enough. Target Behavior was an original play that should continue to be seen over and over by audiences all over the country. Few plays are capable of leaving the audience changed forever when the show ends, but that is exactly what Target Behavior did to everyone in attendance of Thursday night. Overall, Target Behavior is a deep, well written, and well casted play. Violette and the cast succeed on every level and Thursday’s performance was one that will remain with the audience for some time.
In the quiet black box theater in the back of the Marshall Performing Arts Center at UMD, lays the Dudley Experimental Theater. A small group run by students with the assistance of UMD Staff, these students have again shocked and awed audiences the past couple weekends and have set the bar even higher with this stunning performance. Target Behavior is not only an amazing play performed by students, but it was even written by one. Junior Caity Shea Violette has written a play that, in my opinion, will be seen in other theaters across America.
Honestly speaking, I was skeptical of how this small theater production would turn out, but upon entering the theater it was already packed with a long line forming for Rush Ticket sales. When the lights went down, the magic came to life. With knowing little about the basic plot of the play, I was pleased to see it not follow the traditional route with an emphasis on the tragic, but instead follow the story of the victim and her struggle to finally find herself.
Scene transition was smooth and was interesting to see how the scenic designer Sophomore Topaz Cooks decided to portray different settings with a variable fence like wall on the right of the stage. Lighting also was key in portraying different times and settings as a cooler lighting was chosen for the outside world of Kendra (Katie Workman) and her interactions with supporting cast. Throughout the course of the play, the acting was lively and concise to what you would expect from the average teenage girl. Great supporting acting by Bridget (Johanna Dittus) and the fellow crazies (Daniel Novick, Erin Miller and Carla Weideman) both helped and hindered Kendra with her battle to find herself after her world was shattered.
After seeing several plays with a more simplistic stage, I seem to enjoy them more because you aren’t too indulged with the surroundings, but instead with the action happening before you. It is easier also to then notice every little detail that is added to give the scene an extra feel, whether it was the birds chirping in the park scene, or the night skyline at the make-out point, to even the harsh bright lights of the asylum. These were many aspects that larger theaters sometimes move away from when they get too heavily involved in scenery. Here the realism of the plot of the play was brought to life by the action, but the stage itself let the audience fill in the blanks with their imagination as they were pulled into the play itself.
I can’t think of anything wrong with the play itself, for it was done magnificently. However, with the theater itself there seemed to be some technical issues with a strobe light behind the audience that seemed to be shorting out as it made a high pitch squeal during the action. Also with how the seats were set up it was hard to see parts of the play when the actors were on the ground as the seats weren’t tiered. Just minor technicalities that are easily overlooked after being drawn in by this brilliant world premier.
Target Behavior, preformed at the Dudley Experimental theatre was very emotional play. In the beginning, the audience was constantly in wonder what had happened to Kendra. Her emotions were all over the place. You could tell that she was influenced by everything around her and didn't have much self confidence. Once revealed that she was raped, her whole attitude changed. Katie Workman played that role to a "T". She sold the entire audience on her character. As well as the play was produced, the audience could have been a bit stronger. The play ended with people unsure whether or not it was over. Most understood that she went back to the center and was starting her own type of counseling was a bit confusing. People left with a bit of confused looks on their face. Overall, the play went very well.
Target Behavor, written by UMD's own Caity Violette, was inspirational, powerful, and jaw dropping all at the same time. This is by far one of the best plays that UMD will have to offer to audiences for a time to come.
Target Behavior is a performance about a rape victim, Kendra, who after the horrific event takes place, suffers from depression and is admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital in order to deal with what makes her depressed, or her "Target Behavior." While there, she meets Jake, an acquaintance, and Dean, her therapist, whom help her through her journey.
The stage for this performance was most definitely something that isn't seen on an everyday basis. It consisted of what seemed to be gates that folded which separated the stage into separate pieces, seeing as the performance would jump to different time frames of Kendra's life. This particular set up could not have been done any better. Although there were many different moments in the performance for stage hands to manipulate the stage so that it fit the act, the "stage divider" was an excellent way to split the stage so that the different moments in time could be portrayed effectively. Also, the breaks in action were not very long, and seemed organized enough so that they did not interrupt the performance as often as anticipated. Much praise goes out to the stage designer.
The actors did a most exquisite job when portraying their characters. Four actors needed to portray themselves as "mentally unstable" teens which would not be an easy task, but they made it seem so natural and easy. Katie Workman, who played Kendra, did an extraordinary job when not only portraying her character on stage, but in jumping from scene to scene. The performance would jump from a scene in the psych ward to a flashback of her life before she was admitted, and despite how complicated this seemed, Katie accomplished this with much ease and flawlessness. Any parent knows that for some teenagers, it is hard to express how they are feeling or to bring up a hard time. Katie had to portray this on many occasions as Kendra. Her body language, tone of voice, and actions were spot on when showing these particular moments.
Target Behavior, although a serious play, most definitely covered every textbook emotion from the actors, and in the audience. The situation being portrayed was most definitely not something to joke about, but some scenes that took place in the Psychiatric Hospital added comic relief and brought up the mood. Definitely a great addition by Caity Violette. Although most of the laughs came about because of a mentally ill patient in the hospital, the comical situations were done respectfully and in such a fashion that would not cause any stirring in the audience. They were well needed and were a well thought out addition to the performance.
Target Behavior is a performance that captures the audience's attention from beginning to end. It takes the onlooker through all of their emotions whether they be more on the positive or negative end of the emotional spectrum; and to think that this play was written by a UMD student is quite amazing. Hats are off to everyone who had a part in making this story go from a paper and pencil, to a live performance. It is definitely a must see.
This page contains a single entry by Mark Harvey published on December 2, 2011 9:45 AM.
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