The Ensemble Image

The Ensemble

By Bradley Gibson | April 15, 2024

The Ensemble short film, directed and written by Ethan McKellar, is an allegory for societal dynamics by way of an acting class exercise. An acting coach (Victor Colasurdo) preps a closed-off rehearsal room and brings his actors into the space. He puts them in masks and guides them forcefully through common experiences people face in community groups.

One of the young women (Maria Gerding) is targeted as the villain of the group, and the exercise plays out in predictable ways. Intercut with the acting class are quick glimpses of campus life, similar to the masked exercise, as a young woman goes through the highs and lows of social life.

“…an allegory for societal dynamics by way of an acting class exercise.”

The film is minimal in production and length but thought-provoking nonetheless. We are all too aware of the devastating effects of social isolation, harassment, and bullying, and this short piece is a reminder of those social ills. If groups get out of hand, the mob rules.

The Ensemble is a cautionary tale, warning us to develop and show empathy for others. It’s also a stark illustration that the idea of civilization is a very thin veneer over our primal instincts. Every one of us is just one bad day away from doing the worst things imaginable.

The Ensemble (2024)

Directed and Written: Ethan McKellar

Starring: Maria Gerding, Cole Gilder, Simon Gottlieb, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

The Ensemble Image

"…develop and show empathy for others."

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