“Trust” delivers a charged performance worthy of the rock stars it portrays


Nadav Soroker, Staff Writer

The Student Theatre Guild has joined forces with the SRJC Theatre Arts department to make a powerful little production full of witty repartee called “Trust.” With a cast of only six, “Trust” has taken over the Bertolini Student Activities Center much like the Rock and Roll divas the show is about. Strong acting, witty quips and enough sexual tension for any rock band, deliver on a minimal and intimate stage with actors mere feet from the audience.

Written by Steven Dietz,“Trust”is a powerful play about sex, trust and how we treat the ones we love. The play meanders through the relationships of six characters as they circle around the fame of up-and-coming rock star Cody (Rodrigo Castillo). It opens with Cody’s Fiancée Becca (Alanna Weatherby), sitting at a table with a glass of wine as Gretchen (Jennifer Biancalana), a dressmaker who she meets later, describes her horrible dinner date in a crowded restaurant. The timing and tone between the two actors manages to set the mood for the restaurant and even create the date without any need for props. This minimalist trend of telling with acting rather than set pieces continues throughout the play, as jealousy is revealed and new flames are introduced, starting with cynical old-news rock star Leah (Alice Glass) who brashly makes Castillo her own with attitude that grabs attention un-apologetically and keeps it like the rock-legend she once was.

Weatherby and Biancalana share an awkward meeting as Biancalana makes measurements for the wedding dress. Roy (Nathan Luft-Runner), a nervous late-night radio host, sees sexual little cynic and playgirl Holly (Madison Scarbrough) who meets Glass and Biancalana for drinks at a bar. As all the characters come to the table at various times, tensions unfold and are revealed with biting wit, veiled attacks and attitude. Scarbrough and Glass dominate the scene and act with their verbal sparring and cattiness.

Luft-Runner takes his share of the spot light at the opening of act two with a hilarious and powerful monologue. Biancalana and Weatherby take up the baton and add more twists and complications to the love tangle in an emotionally charged scene that played the full stage to excellent effect. This builds into further scenes with Glass, Castillo, and Weatherby where scandal and disaster unfolds in rough, passionate performances culminating in a sexually charged power play. The final scenes release some tension as the play comes to a close with relationships breaking and new ones forming for better or for worse.

Chosen because of its small cast size and ability to be performed in an intimate space, each actor shines just as Director Skylar J Evans hoped.

Despite a few technical difficulties with the space, like not having a real backstage area and only basic lighting, the actors made great use of the space, spreading out into the audience while remaining in character. This audience intimacy adds a soap opera element, where even the characters watch the drama unfold around them. It places the audience right in the action, when it wasn’t occasionally drawing their attention to see who was walking around behind them. The play also suffered from a few minor technical glitches with fumbled props and stuttered lines that should be corrected by opening night.

“Trust” runs Oct. 19-21 with showings at 8 p.m. in the Bertolini Student Activities Center. Tickets are $5 for Associated Students members, $7 for students, and $10 for the general public. The play is recommended for those 18 and up due to profanity and strong sexual themes.