With everlasting love, Titan Theatre


Arguing in the final scene of the student directed one act, “With Everlasting Love, Monika,” MC, played by senior Lucas Laguer discovers that Monika, played by junior Tammy Nguyen, is controlling his entire life through the words she writes in her script. Nguyen held the script as her prop throughout the one act, however she expressed concern that the audience may think she is unprepared for her part. “So I hold a script throughout the entire play and I feel really scared that everyone is just going to think that I don’t know my lines which is not the reason I am holding the script,” Nguyen said. “[The audience] doesn’t figure out the purpose of the scripts presence until the very end where I explain it.”

Emily Edwards

   Down on the ground begging for MC to not kill her, Monika looks stage left to see Sayori standing in between the wooden door. With the spotlight on Sayori, MC runs to embrace her, his best friend has been brought back to life.

   “With Everlasting Love, Monika” is the first play that sophomore Gavin Brenneman has written and directed. 

   “To sum it up without spoiling anything, it is about a guy, [MC], who joins his best friends literature club which he is the co-president of,” Brenneman said. “Things just start to change around him and [everything in the play] gets manipulated.”

Running through different scenes in the theatre hallway, seniors Damiana Alicea and Lucas Laguer reread their scripts until they were called onto stage. Alicea, who plays Sayori, explained that going over her lines with Laguer would only benefit them for all performances. “We were practicing [in the hallway] the depression scene and the confession scene,” Alicea said. “We were practicing those scenes because of memorization and making sure we had everything down, but also because we wanted to have the same emotions that we can carry on for the three nights we are performing.”
   Looking to video games for inspiration, Benneman adapted his one act on the video game, “Doki Doki Literature Club”.

   “The entire show is based off of a game called ‘Doki Doki Literature Club’  by Team Salvato,” Brenneman said. “The entire play and everything was written by me, just the characters and the adaptation of it is the same [as the game].”

   When it came to his writing process, Brenneman kept chances of duplicating the video game to a minimum. To do so, he played the four hour long video game “Doki Doki Literature Club” eight times.

   “It took me three months [to write this one act],” Brenneman said. “Basically how I wrote it is, I played the game eight times to make sure I got everything set up the same way and then I had to switch things around. I even wrote a little [guide] to show me how things played out [in the game] so that I could change it and make sure it’s not exactly like the game and then I had to make sure I didn’t copy any of the dialogue. That was probably the hardest part making sure I didn’t steal everything.”

Checking to see what is wrong with Sayori, played by senior Damiana Alicea, Monika, played by junior Tammy Ngyuen whispers into Sayori’s ear. “When Monika goes over to Sayori, what Tammy does is something that actually makes me laugh,” Alicea said. “She basically just keeps repeating ‘kill yourself, kill yourself, kill yourself’ so it’s just something where it’s supposed to be Monika controlling everything so she is controlling Sayori and telling her ‘you’re not worth enough’ and ‘you have to kill yourself’.”

   Opening the one act, Brenneman had to provide his audience with a disclaimer that his one act includes some scenes and mentions of suicide. However, cast members like senior Lucas Laguer believed that the scenes wouldn’t be too much for the audience to handle.

   “The play is a little dark mostly, it does have a lot of dark themes,” Laguer said. “It is hidden behind this cutesy facade I think they audience may be a little sensitive to [some scenes] but it’s nothing that will be offensive because things like what is shown does happen in real life.”

   Other cast members like junior Tammy Ngyuen were unsure on their view of the suicide scenes, however Ngyuen also admitted that these scenes added to the authenticity of the one act.

   “I don’t think anyone will have a problem with the [suicide mentions] because he approaches the subject in a respectful manner, kind of,” Ngyuen said. “He does show cutting and blood and then when it comes to the suicide we were originally going to do hanging but, because we were scared people would not like that we decided to do pills instead. So I just feel like when they mention the suicide it’s kind of a bit too real but when you see how depressed Sayuri is and it may be upsetting [but it helps develop the one act].”

   As their first performance of the year, Ngyuen encouraged students to attend a day of the one acts as a way to support the actors in the theatre program.

   “We worked really hard on this and it’s student directed and I think it’s exciting to see how one of your peers can write something and now you can see it on stage rather than just going to a movie,” Ngyuen said. “It’s exciting to see everything that is handmade and it’s a little rough but at the same time it is cool to see.”