United Solo Screen Shorts Review


Left to right: Peter Tate (Odd Man Out), Alexandra Singleton (Pat the Bunny) and Lance Ledet (A Portrait of Robin)

Portrait of Robin


Portrait of Robin, written and performed by Lance Ledet, focuses on a moment in the life of

the late Robin Williams. Appearing unkempt, Williams’s home adds to the overall appearance of his struggles. The set is designed with dirty dishes scattered across the table and spilling out of the sink. The performance is shot as if the audience is in his apartment watching; it is an uncomfortable perspective for the viewer but it allows for a closer look at what he may be experiencing. The constant water dripping from the sink adds to the eerie mood of the performance.


Williams is preparing for an upcoming interview. As he prepares, he repeatedly goes over the questions aloud, imagining the audience laughing. The viewer gets insight into William’s mind as he imagines it playing out. He mentions how he doesn’t really speak to anyone as they are all busy with their own lives. The imaginary laughter becomes haunting which could be a sign of his mental deterioration. As he continues rehearsing his answers, the audience sees how unbearable the task has become-- something that once was a joy has now become a heavy burden.


A Portrait of Robin is a powerful look into an artist’s spiraling life. While it may be difficult to watch, Ledet’s inspiring performance brings attention to the suffering that often occurs in silence.


Odd Man Out



Odd Man Out, created and performed by Peter Tate is an exciting but disturbing performance. The viewer is immediately drawn in by an unnamed older gentleman who appears to be isolating himself from the rest of the world, taking a toll on his mental health. The man is laughing hysterically and speaking to himself making the audience uncomfortable as we begin to question what has occurred. Confined to a room that gives the impression of a nuclear fallout shelter, with newspapers stacked high on the background, suggests he has been isolated for quite some time.


Pulling out a model home built out of popsicle sticks he begins an argument with the two dolls inside. While one doll appears to represent him, the second is a mystery. He begins accusing the other doll of leaving, the agitation grows as he pours lighter fluid on the house. His descent into madness becomes apparent as he says, “wait, wait, wait” while the house burns. The isolation and loneliness have taken a toll on the man. He begins placing feathers on his mouth and blowing them away as he says, “ I knew I should have been a bird”.


Overall, the story asks more questions than it answers, but that is what gives Odd Man Out its power. If you pay close attention, you might figure out the mystery but ultimately that’s not the point.


Pat the Bunny


In her refreshing short, Pat the Bunny, Alexandra Singleton shares the story of a childhood mishap that leads to a fixation with bunnies. As a youngster, Singleton’s favorite book was Pat the Bunny. Her parents sold it in a garage sale because they felt she was getting too attached to the book/the bunny. This marked a traumatic event in her life. As an adult, Singleton makes up for her tragic loss by getting a real pet rabbit which she affectionately names, Pat. At first, Pat is the wonderful pet she always dreamed of until after one play date with her friend’s rabbit she becomes unexpectedly pregnant..... At this point, Pat is far from being the docile creature she became accustomed to knowing. Pat is now a protective mother. When Singleton tries to pet one of the baby bunnies, Pat lunges and bites her. Singleton considers giving Pat up for adoption but fears she would be euthanized, now that she is registered on the “bunny database as a bloodthirsty rabbit.”


Despite the love-hate relationship she develops for Pat and her babies, she refuses to get rid of them. Her attachment is so deep that she simply cannot bear the thought of giving them up. The audience later learns why these bunnies are so important. They have become more than just a childhood desire. They have become her children. Singleton is now the protective mother. The bunnies continue reproducing and she ends up with a garage filled with rabbits. Although Pat the Bunny pokes fun at Singleton’s obsession with bunnies, there is a deeper, albeit brief message at the core of Pat the Bunny.


"Portrayal of Robin" by Lance Ledet

"Odd Man Out" by Peter Tate

"Pat the Bunny" by Alexandra Singleton

All shows can be viewed on United Solo Stream at https://screen.unitedsolo.org

 

Derick Peake is a Junior at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. He is pursuing a degree in Psychology and is a prospective Theatre major. In his free time, Derick is also a member of the Alpine Ski team.