Mishaps and the scientific method were the subject of ?Lab Rats,? a performance put on by the Drama House last weekend.
The play was directed and produced by former UR student Swithin David, and featured an all-student cast.
David opened the show by taking data from the audience, recording the number of males and females and asking if anyone was displaying ?abnormal symptoms.?
The premise of the play was an experiment at the fictional Star Labs where scientists were the subjects of an experiment ? the ?lab rats.?
Dr. Merv Whole, played by junior Andrew King, is in charge of Star Labs. He hires his nephew to work in the lab and unknowingly be part of an experiment.
Ben A. Whole, an uneducated, bumbling oaf, is to be a lab assistant to Dr. Zamyatin We and Dr. Janeane Thorpe.
Whole, played by sophomore Christopher Harrington, creates chaos in the office, ruining experiments that had taken years to create and turning a presentation for influential lab donors into a screening of a cartoon about a biological superhero.
Whole, We and Thorpe and a test monkey are locked in their lab together for weeks with minimal food and no contact with the outside world.
The experiment is to prove that people are so similar to monkeys that if put in the appropriate situation, they will regress to a primate state.
This hypothesis is confirmed as the scientists develop strange habits after prolonged captivity, and eventually fight like crazed monkeys.
The story itself was funny, while managing to compress a vast amount of scientific fact into the script. The actors had to memorize the names of complex chemical compounds and discuss scientific processes with poise.
By being willing to do everything from getting chocolate smeared all over their faces, to hopping around like monkeys for over two hours, the actors were the epitome of dedication.
One student went above and beyond the call of duty. Despite a relatively minor role in the play, freshman Yusuke Shimizu was willing to shave a radiation sign into the side of his head.
?Lab Rats? was a funny and engaging play, an interesting mix of lowbrow humor and intelligent commentary.
The Drama House performs a great function by creating a space where students can express their creativity. The success of ?Lab Rats? shows the quality of the results that can be obtained.