REVIEW: K-State Theatre’s ‘Stop Kiss’ is an emotional performance

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Performers will see this view before entering the expanded stage of the new Purple Masque Theatre. (Parker Robb | The Collegian)

Stop Kiss,” by Diana Son and directed by Teva Spencer, is an insightful and unique show set in 1990s detailing the lives of two women as they fall in love with each other and the trials and tribulations they face. The show is told non-chronologically — the opening scene shows the two women meet and quickly transitions into different scenes throughout their relationship.

“Stop Kiss” ran from Oct. 24-27 in the Purple Masque Theatre.

Talented Brooke Griggs leads the show as Sara, a New York traffic woman, who becomes smitten with Callie, a Bronx school teacher, portrayed by Kayla Lansing. Both actresses put on a powerful and intimate performance, examining their characters’ hardships. Other characters showcase their struggles through interpersonal relations.

The show culminates with a powerful kiss between Sara and Callie. The women are attacked and Callie is left badly injured and comatose for several scenes. Griggs exhibits a heartbreaking reaction during Callie’s coma to sell the show.

The technical crew made great use of the Purple Masque as well, using two moving walls suspended on a curtain track to close the “middle window” of the show (note, the two pillars in the Masque break up the set into three sections when needed, and the actors have to work with this either as an entire apartment or as three separate settings). Closing up this portal allowed the audience to focus on the action in different spaces of the stage, adding a unique moving piece to a stationary set.

Lighting added grade-A effects to the show; colors and changes showed characters’ moods and tension to add to the setting. The sound effects were equally great, creative and immersive.

The show suffered from some long and glaring pauses between beats — some of which helped the awkwardness of scenes and others that did not. Certain times, props felt unnecessary, such as the nurse bringing out a chair that was never used, or throwing dishes in the sink at the beginning of the show for the sink to be used once or twice more total.

Regardless of my petty and minor thoughts, the show was done next-to-perfectly with bright futures ahead for all involved.

Ryan Urban is a graduate student in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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