A scene set up in a dress rehearsal at the Theatre Building on Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017. The Twilight Bowl will be preformed on Friday and is about young women making tough decisions. (Ashley Morris/The Daily Iowan)

Twilight trip through reality


The Theater Department’s newest play, Twilight Bowl, discusses current issues for college women.

By Natalie Betz

The Theater Department’s new play, Twilight Bowl, discusses controversial issues such as abortion, alcoholism in young adults, rape, and prison.

Twilight Bowl is a part of the Big Ten Theater Consortium, which allows female playwrights to write at least six leading roles created for college-age women.

“It’s an important opportunity for women to play age-appropriate roles while they’re still in college,” said Erica Vannon, the director of the play. “It’s a great drama.”

The play will run Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 22 in Theater Building Theater B.

The play opens with a group of four friends from Wisconsin sitting around a table at a bar and bowling venue called Twilight Bowl. There, they have a conversation about a time when one of the characters went camping and wiped herself with poison ivy after using the bathroom out in the woods.

A character named Jaycee jokes about her traumatic breakup with her sixth-grade boyfriend who called her pants “flood-pants.” But don’t worry, she got her comeuppance by beating him in an Easter egg hunt.

It is later revealed that Jaycee has not gathered everyone for a birthday party but a going-away party before she goes to prison for helping her father sell drugs. Only three of Jaycee’s friends showed up to gathering because the rest were mad that her father sold to kids, a fact Jaycee was unaware of.

Humor helps relieves the tension, with many “Orange is the New Black” references scattered through the dialogue. Prison might not be as bad as she thinks, because the show supposedly helps show what prison really is, Jaycee’s friend Clarisse claims. After all, it’s based on a true story, supposedly.

Sam, a college bowler, struggles with the competitive nature of the sport. She is constantly weighed, she is not getting good enough grades to keep her scholarship, and she’s not officially on the team yet, because the school over-recruits.

Maddie, Sam’s college friend, is introduced drunkenly telling the bartender about how angry her mother is with her because she didn’t go home for Thanksgiving. It is revealed she had an abortion, and she didn’t want to face her mother because worrying too much.

Maddie discusses her test anxiety because of the belief that every test determines the rest of your life, and how she suffers from panic disorder. She also talks about how she woke up with only her underwear on next to a boy after a night of heavy drinking.

By the end of the play, Jaycee is released, and visits the Twilight Bowl after not speaking to any other friends except Charlene. Jaycee is quiet, Christian, sober, and doesn’t swear. The friends’ dynamic has changed, but while reminiscing about how they grew apart, they discover they all miss each other.

Brillian Qu-Bell, assistant stage manager, likes that the play shows strong female characters not based on stereotypes. Instead, they are shown as real people, which she felt was a good representation.

“We meet these ladies at varying transition points in their life,” said Bri Atwood, the sound designer for the play. “It’s relatable.”

When: 8 p.m. Friday; 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Theater Building Theater B

Admission: 0-$5

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