Controversial play ‘CATALEPSY’ examines violence, respect and rap culture.
Drafting vibrant lyrics and storylines about two conflicting rap crews, the Gallardo family conceived of Catalepsy, a tragic comedic farce, the first student directed and written play ever on campus.
After refusing their first play, the Santa Ana College Theatre Arts department approved the Gallardos’ script, which appears on stage Friday and Saturday at the Black Box Theatre.
Written by Chris and Dominick and co-directed by their older sister Linda, the show takes place in the recording studios of Davis Ramirez, played by Dominick, who’s frustrated by his lazy, ignorant rapper, Marty “M&M” Martinez, played by Dominique Collins.
“It started from ideas we’ve had since high school,” Chris said. “Then, years later, we had Theatre 100 together and did a short 10-minute scene. We built up from there.”
Growing from five roles to 16, characters like aspiring pop singer Jack “The Kid” Shitte and gibberish-speaking, female rapper Mickey Mirage reach satirical realities portraying the childish competitiveness of the hip-hop music industry.
“It’s always quick to jump [to conclusions] instead of helping one another, understanding and finding out what’s going on,” said Chris, referring to the natural human tendencies taken as cues for the story.
Conflict twists are embedded towards the end of the two-hour play, with actors whipping out stage guns during rap battles.
“I never believed in censorship because I think good theater and films push elements,” said Assistant Theatre Professor Chris Cannon, who also appears in the play. “They put things out there that need to be discussed, and now more than ever, guns and violence are things to be discussed.”
After rehearsing for about four hours every night five days a week, Chris Gallardo experienced the struggles of directing, crediting Cannon as inspiration and Theatre Department Chairwoman, Valinda Tivenan for helping bring the story to life.
The Gallardo brothers and the dance department are currently working on creating a play infused with dance numbers to show two years from now.
Taking place inside the Black Box Theatre, directly behind the Don Express, in room P-105, tickets will be $3 for students, $5 for non-students. They can be bought at the door, or online at http://www.sac.edu/theatre/Events. Shows begin at 8 p.m.