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.”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.”
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.”