Drama students perform “Rimers of Eldritch”



“The Rimers of Eldritch,” an off-Broadway play originally written by Lanford Wilson, was performed at COD last month. Director Janet Miller and College of the Desert students presented their take on the 1966 classic. Over two weekends, March 16-18 and 23-25, the play took a non-linear approach to a crime taking place in 1967, in the Bible Belt town of Eldritch, an almost abandoned mining town, during spring, summer and fall.

The play is about the moral corruption of a small town and is non-linear, meaning the whole cast was on the stage at once, while everyone portrayed a different theme in a different time period. The time change occurred with the lighting change, though the whole play revolved around a trial, about the murder of Skelly Mannor, played by Robert Guenther, in connection to the rape of Eva Jackson.

The town of Eldritch is small with a population of 70, meaning  a small town mentality is one of the largest pieces of the play, causing the narrators to be disguised as two gossiping women, Martha Truit, played by Brianna Maloney and Wilma Atkins, played by Adriana Esquivel. Though hard to follow, you could look at these two for guidance.

The whole town is saying how bad of a person Skelly is, but turns out in the end that he was trying to protect Eva, from being sexually assaulted by Robert Conklin, Daniel Zepeda, and is shot by Nellie Windrod, Alexa Jimenez. The people in the play do not know that though, but the audience does, leaving the viewer with a sense of involvement, fitting in with the non-linear theme. COD student Stone Neilon commented, “By learning the secret of what actually happened with the Eva Jackson case, I felt like the play was real and I was a part of it, making this an exceptional experience.”

The play brought a lot of excitement not just for staff and students to view, but for the cast, Brianna Maloney, who played Martha Truit, stated, ” This is the first school production I have done in a while and doing it with my classmates was amazing, as we got to bring the magic from the classroom to the stage. The viewers will be able to see what COD can create, and be proud of the lengths this department will go to for them and the community.”

This production is followed by the spring musical, “In the Heights,” put on by COD’s Drama Department from May  3-6 at the McCallum Theater and is directed by Shafik Wahhab.

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