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Notre Dame Student Players to Present ‘Naked Mole Rats’

| Thursday, December 3, 2015

Naked_Banner_WebJanice Chung | The Observer

This weekend, the Notre Dame Student Players will put on “Naked Mole Rats in the World of Darkness” at Washington Hall, and junior director Mary Patano promises a humorous show to entertain all.

“I picked [the show] out in the beginning of June,” Patano said. “I feel like with a name like this, people are going to want to come see it.”

“Naked Mole Rats in the World of Darkness” — an intriguing title indeed — satirizes gender relations between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend and platonic friends.

“Naked mole rats [are] blind their entire lives, … but they mate for life,” Patano said. “I think that has to do with [the fact] that men and women are often times just kind of flying blind and going wherever, but they’re still together.”

The cast of nine Notre Dame students perform a variety of monologues and skits, dramatizing stereotypical attributes of both men and women. Whether through comments from husbands claiming that men will forever lose arguments to their wives or charges that men never listen to their spouses, the Notre Dame Student Players present a comedic and relatable representation of gender relations in today’s world.

“Yes, guys and girls are very different,” Patano said. “But when it comes down to it, we all want the same things. We just go about it in different ways.”

Patano said she has been pleased with her actors’ performances and their overall chemistry, both on and off the stage. Casted immediately after Fall Break, the players would go on to meet one-on-one or in small groups to rehearse the 19 monologues and skits separately.

Right before Thanksgiving, the entire cast joined forces for the first time to run through the entire show.

“It can be scary to work on something for a month only to meet the rest of your cast two days before a show,” Patano said. “But [they] have really come together.”

Patano said she attributes the immediate chemistry of cast and crew members both to the nature of the show and to the nature of the actors.

“What’s awesome is that we have people from different grades [and majors] in the show. It’s not just one group of people,” said Patano. “The great thing about theatre is that you can take people of any different [background] and put them together to create something as a whole. That’s what’s so great about having a cast and crew like this.”

Chemistry and culture are evident throughout the performance, as each character shares his or her own story to convey the humor, irony and satire that comprises basic male-female relationships. With characters providing representations of various attributes of a man and woman’s brain and body, the show encourages audience members to pay attention and think critically about each scenario.

“Naked Mole Rats in the World of Darkness” will show Friday evening at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday at 4 p.m., in Washington Hall’s Lab Theatre. Students can buy tickets at the door or at the LaFortune Box Office for $5.

Patano said the cast and crew encourage Notre Dame students to attend their performances.

“I’m really excited for people to see this for the first time and be caught off guard a little bit,” Patano concludes. “They’ll be pleasantly surprised by what’s in there.”

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