Late Night Theater at Northeastern: Silver Masque's Fortnight

March 24, 2018 | By Eric Doroski

Walking up the dimly lit hallway after being buzzed in by security at nearly midnight in Ryder Hall, almost anyone would assume they were heading to the wrong place. Yet, upon opening the door of the Ryder Theatre Lab was unmistakably a theater performance. Fortnight is a late-night performance produced by the student-sponsored branch of the Theatre Department, Silver Masque.


Emma Hunt, a second-year theatre major and member of Silver’s Masque’s tech department, was first introduced to Silver Masque as an audience member last year. She sees it as a fun, casual way to meet people in her major with similar backgrounds or interests.


What started as a series of low-key performances by exclusively theatre majors morphed into a larger event. Requiring no formal qualifications to enter, students of all majors are welcome to perform songs, spoken word, monologue, or even short plays.


On March 22, seven acts along with a short, ten-minute play were featured. The student-written play, “A Statement to the Press,” humorously showed the struggle and stress of a public figure preparing a statement, distracted by seemingly endless events. This piece, by far the most formal and longest of the night, was enthusiastically received by the crowd.


Earlier in the night, informal sketches brought laughter and applause. Starting with “Just Screaming,” the audience screamed in unison at the cue of a main performer. The loud coordinated noises brought the audience together for a night of laughs, groans, and applause.


As each sketch ended, the lights shined onto a different wall, where the audience would scramble out of the way to make room for the next pop-up stage, as Fortnight is not performed on a traditional main stage like most theater. Later performances included “Dairy???,” where two performers cut up and mangled different types of cheese, and “Rough Beast,” featuring the escapades of two insane raccoons in front of a horrified observer. 


The last performance, “Is This What You Want?” was the wildest, with performers ripping off an actor’s shirt and pelting him with water balloons and towels. The event provided a release for the bizarre and often nonsensical humor of current college students.


Overall, the night was an entertaining and humorous outlet for students of all backgrounds, whether interested in a career in theater, arts, or even engineering. After all, where else can anyone find a group of students pelting each other with water balloons in the name of comedy?


The next of the biweekly Fortnight events is at 11 p.m. in the Ryder Student Theatre on Thursday, April 5.