Not Just Another Day at the Office
It is truly remarkable how an office space, one of the most mundane locations possible, can be used to tell a sensational story. Many comedic writers, particularly in recent years, have used the boring office environment to display wild shenanigans. One such writer is Hank Greene, author of Knights of the Sales Office, a studio lab performance piece put on last week by the Skidmore Theater Department. Although primarily a comedy, the play had many touching moments and director Mira Lamson Klein ’18 did a wonderful job showcasing the emotional spectrum that the piece encapsulated.
The set was simple but effectively designed so that the workers’ desks were facing the audience. On the desks were various props, including a keyboard but no monitor so as not to obstruct the actors’ faces. The only oddity was the wooden block that was used in place of a phone. While this was not a critical feature, the fact that everything else looked real made the block-phone even more noticeable and modestly detracted from the viewing experience.
The wedge may not have made a good phone, but everyone else played their parts fantastically. Carrie Baker ‘20 and Julia Guy ‘19 were excellent as the soulless HR representatives. Their performances were even further boosted by the stellar lighting, which changed to emphasize them whenever they came onstage.
However, the show was truly made great by the three leads. Eli Hersh ’20 perfectly embodied the uptight, work-driven Larry. Emily Cross ’19 was equally as astounding as Susan, whose free-spirited personality often clashed with Larry’s focus on his job. Stuck in between them was Craig, a shy but loveable guy exceptionally portrayed by Adam Newmark ’20. When their boss, Mr. Clybourne, took his own life, the three employees were given a 30-day mourning period. Oddly enough, it is during this supposedly sad time that the most hilarity ensued.
All the performances were great, but there were times when it felt as though the characters’ styles of humor did not blend. Knights of the Sales Office was, essentially, NBC’s The Office, except the only characters are Dwight, Meredith, and Toby. Each character was funny in their own right, but the small cast put more pressure on them to work well together. Unfortunately, this was not always the case, but the overall chemistry between the stars was enough to keep the show going, even in the lackluster scenes.
In conclusion, Skidmore’s production of Knights of the Sales Office provided intellectual moments among countless laughs. Unfortunately, because of time restrictions, the actors performed only the first act of the play, but the piece was so enjoyable I would have loved to have stayed for the second act.
Final Score: 8/10