TJ Drama performs annual Knight of One Axe

Sophomores+Zara+Batalvi+and+Raquel+Sequeira+perform+in+%22Absent%2C%22+written+and+directed+by+junior+Abby+Peterson.

Sanjoli Agarwal

Sophomores Zara Batalvi and Raquel Sequeira perform in “Absent,” written and directed by junior Abby Peterson.

Lindsay Williams, Online Editor in Chief

A girl with anorexia nervosa and bulimia. A woman who suffered a sexual assault. A couple with a machine gun for a baby. This sounds like a crazy, dangerous world, but all of these situations were dealt with by members of TJ Drama in their annual performance of Knight of One Axe on Friday, Feb. 6 and Saturday, Feb. 7.

Knight of One Axe, a show with a series of one-act plays put on by TJ Drama each year, allows actors to showcase their ability to present a character in a short amount of time that they wish the audience to feel for and relate to. Many of the performers in the show accomplished this handily, especially given the subject material in the plays.

There were three one act plays this year, all of which had dark material. The first play was both student written and directed, by junior Abby Peterson. Peterson used her second-hand accounts of dealing with friends battling eating disorders to depict the struggle of a teenager named Nila (sophomore Raquel Sequeira) who is dealing with her parents’ divorce as well as an eating disorder. Her story is shown through the eyes of a therapist, Dr. Ramara (sophomore Zara Batalvi), and all of the encounters are in Batalvi’s office. Batalvi’s performance was the most believable and her sympathy for Nila was palpable.

The darkest but most moving was the second play, “I Dream Before I Take the Stand,” starring Kira Becker and Misha Ryjik. An unnamed victim of sexual assault (Becker) is interrogated by an unnamed person who is assumed to be some sort of legal counsel (Ryjik). Becker and Ryjik seemed to transform into their characters, with yelling, screaming, and crying that wasn’t too much but just enough to be all too real, especially for the female members of the audience who fear the question: “What were you wearing?”

The final play was remarkable for two reasons: it was the only humorous play, and it was also by far the most bizarre. An infertile couple, Charles and Charlotte Smith (junior Pierce Stegman and freshman Kanvi Shah) desperately wants a child, and it appears their dreams have come true when a baby basket appears on their doorstep. Instead of a human baby, however, the basket contains a machine gun. The Smiths then proceed to raise the gun as a baby, and end up accidently shooting their best friend’s (freshman Liam Nolan) baby. It was difficult for the cast of this play to truly get the audience to empathize due to the nature of the play, but the Shah did an excellent job of showing her character’s transformation from a state of depression to a state of mentally unstable happiness.

A Knight of One Axe was a night of depression, shock, and emotion, as well as a night of strong performances. It is definitely a very different environment from the full-length spring and fall shows, but the stories were refreshingly short and to the point.