EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


May 3, 2012

'Star Wars' Abridged

Locals stage two-hour tribute to 12-hour saga

Love "Star Wars" but don't have 12-plus hours to spend watching all six of the saga's films? As Yoda would say, "Just the thing we have for you."

On Saturday, May 5, the University of New Hampshire in Manchester's Brick and Mortar Theatre Group is staging "Star Wars: In a Nutshell," a play that condenses the six "Star Wars" movies into a single two-hour performance.

"A lot of people have grown up with 'Star Wars,' so I wanted to do something that everyone can enjoy," says U.N.H. senior Kelsey Carlson, 23, of Bedford, N.H., who wrote the script and is co-directing the show with Victoria DiPippo of Sandown, N.H. (Also look for Carlson on stage as the Gungan Jar Jar Binks).

Carlson says she started the writing process with the films themselves. She sat down and re-watched all six "Star Wars" movies in chronological order and wrote down key plot points, from finding Anakin Skywalker as a little boy, to his turn to the dark side, and finally, Luke Skywalker's victory.

"I pretty much tried to follow the plot lines," she says of her script. Although the play is a parody and has funny parts, she says it also has dramatic moments too; she was careful to note that she meant no disrespect to George Lucas. Instead, it might be seen has an homage.

"Star Wars: In a Nutshell" isn't the first "condensed" play written and produced by Brick and Mortar. The theater group has also tackled the Harry Potter series and the Twilight Saga.

"We just think it's a fun way to tell a tale without overwhelming the audience," Carlson says, adding that the condensed plays give audiences "the gist" of those huge yarns.

"While the stories are very good, sometimes it's just good to have a quick show," she says.

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