Best One-Act Play - 2001
Iphigenia in Orem
Even those who aren't theater buffs love one-acts. Perhaps it's because our brains have been conditioned by too many Budweiser and Taco Bell commercials, but one-acts have the strange appeal of being enigmatic, energetic, and, most important, short. This season Chuck Pooler took the one-act a step further by packing Neil LaBute's Iphigenia in Orem with so many maniacal twists and turns it took the emotional toll of a two-hour drama. As a middle-age salesman holed up in a roadside motel, Pooler led theatergoers from feeling sorry for his washed-out, pudgy, pathetic self to utter shock when the man confesses that he suffocated his infant daughter and then pretended it was an accident. On the dimly lit and barren stage of Drama 101, Pooler's subtlety and unassuming delivery managed to seep into the subconscious of the audience and root out all preconceptions of what it means to be a murderer while at the same time, replanting age-old questions about good and evil.