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Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

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Review: Questioning the future of humanity in “Fourth Planet”

As Dr. Violet Garcia seeks to be a part of the first human mission to Mars, an issue rises leaving viewers questioning the future.
Fullerton College Theatre Department
Evan Hanson (Bogdan, Mac, Marshall, Server 4, Voice Over Radio 2) and Rica Anonas dream about the future.

Fourth Planet”, written by Dano Madden and directed by Michael Mueller, was created to leave viewers with more questions than answers. Aimed at mature audiences, “Fourth Planet” addresses issues of humanity in both the present and future.

The play will be held Nov. 16-18, 30, and Dec. 1-2 in the Bronwyn Dodson Theatre at Fullerton College.

The play follows Dr. Violet Garcia as she attempts to be selected for the first human mission to Mars. One major hurdle is that she is forced to confront the possibility of losing her most important relationships on Earth.

“This play is an exciting exploration into space, the future, and how our lives hold decisions which can be immensely important and still insignificant,” said Mueller.

Deep space antics with Emma Camille (ensemble) and McKenzie Malone during the theatre productions “Fourth Planet.” (Fullerton College Theatre Department)

The show jumps from the present to hundreds of years into the future, from Earth, to Mars, to deep space and worlds yet to be discovered. Some people live their lives with content while others are losing it, questioning their grandparents’ actions.

“Fourth Planet” debates family ideals with Garcia making decisions that cause her family to go in a spiral between support and confrontation. An answer that no one seems to know is, “Why?” From the outside, Dr. Garcia has a perfect life with a loving husband and kids with a dream career. Why make a choice that could throw that all away?

“Macro and micro decisions made along the way lead to our inevitable future,” said Mueller.

The future scenes are shown in segments with each one being further into the future. These set the precedent of life on Mars while describing Earth to be deserted and all water. These scenes are crucial to the conversation of what the future might be.

“My partner and I co-designed hairstyles making Pinterest boards to later show the actors,” said hair and wig designer Paige Zell who also plays Cindy.

The Fullerton College Theatre Department’s production of “Fourth Planet” directed by Michael Mueller runs from Nov. 16-18, 30 and Dec. 1-2. (Fullerton College Theatre Department)

The scenes set in person are shown in earth tones with colors like brown and orange while the future was cool with colors like purple and black. Hair and makeup also helped differentiate present and future with present maintaining popular hairstyles of today and future having more edgy and slick hair. The lighting played a major role in expressing the actors’ feelings.

One way lighting impacted the tone of a scene was when Garcia was crying, all the lights went off except for a spotlight on her. Another instance was when a character was somber, blue lights were put on display.

This play is not just centered around space. It surrounds bigger ideas and questions life. How far are you willing to go to make history? Are you willing to leave everything and everyone you know behind?

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About the Contributor
Romina Gonzalez
Romina Gonzalez, Staff Reporter
Romina Gonzalez is a first semester staff reporter on The Hornet. She joined The Hornet to get a better look into what goes into writing articles. As of now, Romina is trying out different careers she's interested in pursuing for the future. During her free time, she likes watching reality TV and hanging out with friends.

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