(photo by Kim Sheamon)

by Joseph Mastando

On the night of April 26th, the Mount Saint Mary College community watched as the first official reading of Erin-Therese Vecchi’s original play Gen Y took place on the Aquinas Theatre stage. The show narrates a comedy of a girl who, upon graduating college at 22, gets stuck working the same minimum wage job she worked at for the previous six years, at an ice cream shop named “The Fudge n’ Creamery” where the motto is “Have a Fudge n’ good day!”

Vecchi, a dual major in both English and Communications with a concentration in Journalism, wrote the play for her senior project, an experience that all Communications majors both look forward to and dread. Her proposal promised only that she would write a play, but the performance itself came about as an extension of the assignment. Vecchi put on the play to share her passion for theatre with the Mount community, and, with the help of the student actors and student director Liliana Perralta, Gen Y came to life.

The title Gen Y reflects multiple dimensions of the play. Not only is the protagonist’s name Geny (Joyce Hausserman), but “Gen Y” acts as a shortened version of “Generation Y,” the generation of people born in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The generational concepts explored in Vecchi’s play were frequent and reflected in the many characters that represented earlier generations as well as newer ones. Vecchi wrote the play contrasting these generations, which the audience observed through the tensions that existed between Geny and those who were not of her generation. Even small subtleties, such as Geny’s close friend and fellow co-worker Jess (Diamond Tait) not being able separate from her cellphone furthered Vecchi’s generational development.

Gen Y concluded with an audience talk back, a theatre tradition at the Mount in which audience members can add their insight, present their opinions, and ask questions to the cast, director, and in this case, the playwright. Questions quickly arose allowing the actors to tell of their fun experiences behind the scenes as well as Vecchi’s process developing the play, a process that spread across two semesters, including seven full drafts and nearly 400 pages of writing. Among the commentators was James Beard, Mount Saint Mary College Communications professor and former Mount Saint Mary College Theatre director. Beard made a point to say how difficult comedy is to write, but told Vecchi that she, in fact, has a “flare” for the subject.

Now that the performance has concluded, Vecchi can breathe a breath of relief, but the Mount community can only wonder when and where it will see this play, or any other Vecchi originals, performed in the future. Until then, “Have a Fudge n’ good day!”