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February 26,2020 | The Clarion
Arts & Life
Senior theatre capstone
By Carmen Boone
Clara Reichhard is a senior theatre major at
Brevard College. Her senior capstone project
was putting together and directing “Little Box
The premiere was held on Friday, Feb. 21
and a second performance on Saturday, Feb. 22
both at 7 p.m. in the Porter Center’s Morrison
“A Little Box of Oblivion” is a one act play
written by Stephen Bean that runs about 45
Reichhard chose to direct it because she feels
that directing is a very well rounded art.
“Directing encompasses a lot of different
fields, “ said Reichhard. “You have to work with
the actors, you have to work with the technicians,
like lighting, sound and all of that.”
The play included just five actors and actresses.
Molly Ellis King played Cool (female), Talley
Sugg played Woman, Jannie Kurtz played
Neuro (female), Gabbi Nicholson played Doom
(female) and Scott Douglas played Dick (male).
There were many other people behind the scenes
that worked to make the production possible.
Reichhard thanks the entire cast and crew.
She also sends a big thanks to Patrice Foster and
Andrea Boccanfuso, who have been a great help
to her along the way of getting to where she is.
The humorous play starts with Cool on a park
bench reading a newspaper. Woman runs by
and begs Cool to watch her box. She says not
to touch, shake, move, or do anything of that
sort with the box. Then, Neuro comes along and
suspects that it is a bomb. Following that, Doom
shows up, suspecting anthrax. To round it off, a
British character named Dick comes in guessing
the object in the box is a severed human head.
After there is much speculation, Cool gets
fed up. She picks up the box and shakes it
violently above her head, distressing the other
three characters on the scene who have very
Woman then rushes back in and yells at Cool
to set the box down gently. She is very worried
that Cool has destroyed what is in the box.
After a moment, she reveals that her tortoise
is hibernating in the box, and the box was not
nearly as horrid a thing as what any of the
speculators had thought.
The play ends with Neuro, Doom and Dick
closing in on Cool, taunting her about how awful
it was that she shook the box. She runs out and
just before the characters disperse. Cool is heard
screaming. Lights go out, scene.
Reichhard says this play is important to her
because it’s something dark but includes the
subject of mental illness. Neuro, Doom and Dick
are meant to be figments of Cool’s imagination.
“That’s what makes it fun to me. It’s a very
dark subject matter packaged in humor,” said
Reichhard. It has dark themes but is surrounded
The process for this play was long. It started
with picking the play and researching it. Then,
Reichhard read it a couple times and did an
analysis. She then held auditions to cast it
followed by making a rehearsal schedule.
After that came read throughs, staging, scene
work, running it, tech, dress rehearsals and
finally, the show itself
Reichhard began at Brevard College as
a theatre major so it is “dear to my heart,”
as she would say. It teaches discipline and
accountability, which she says has been
challenging but rewarding. “There’s ups and
downs but it’s such a creative field and such
a, you know, fun thing to do,” said Reichhard.
“And there’s a lot of really creative and awesome
people in the theatre.”
The Blanket Octopi
By Solomon Turner
The Blanket Octopi, consisting of four
species, show the largest difference in sexual
size in the entire animal kingdom. According
to Our Breathing Planet, the females can
grow up to two meters (6.6 feet) while the
males are only around 2.4 centimeters (0.94
inches). That’s a 10,000 to one weight ratio!
Coloration can vary widely because, like
most cephalopods, they have chromatophores
(pigment cells) but they generally display
impressive mixes of silver, dark blue and
According to The Tree Of Life, each of the
four species of Tremoctopus spp. inhabit all
tropical and subtropical waters. T. violaceus
is found in the Atlantic, T. gracilis in the
Indo-Pacific, T. gelatus in the deep sea of
topical and temperate oceans and T. robsoni
off the coast of New Zealand.
Their common name is derived from the
unique appendages that connect the dorsal
and dorsolateral tentacles. These long
transparent webs, according to National
Geographic, can be dropped to distract a
potential predator as it makes a speedy escape
along with the stereotypical ink cloud. The
billowing blankets are also used to intimidate
predators by making the octopus appear larger.
According to National Geographic, the
reasoning for the adaptation for sexual size
difference isn’t completely understood but it
is assumed that the males put more energy into
searching for females instead of growing. The
size difference however begs the question, how
do they reproduce?
Copulation occurs in a strange and life ending
Courtesy of Australian Geographic
Blanket Octopus reveals unfurled blankets.
way for the male. The tiny male will rip off
its hectocotylus, an arm that acts as the penis,
and hand it over to the female. The male will
bleed out but this effort doesn’t ensure that it
will actually pass on its genes.
The female will carry hectocotylus of
multiple males and choose the best to fertilize
the eggs. When the female fertilizes the eggs,
generally over 100,000, she will carry them
until they hatch after which she too will die.
The young, being small and palatable to
many marine organisms, use a strange defense
mechanism, strange even for the animal
kingdom. According to an article published
in The Science Magazine in 1963, the young
octopi will rip off tentacles of cnidarians,
generally from the Portuguese man o’ war,
and use the stinging fragments as a defense
While they are listed as least concern on the
lUCN Red List this is likely due to the lack of
information regarding these organisms as the
page has no information beyond the generally
taxonomic information. There is much to learn
about these unique marine cephalopods!