Taking you on a roller coaster of emotion and opinion that jerks the audience around and around, “God of Carnage,” a play by Yasmina Reza, hit the stage the weekend of Friday, April 12.

The illuminated stage reveals the furniture, tulips, books and throw pillows. Given the intimate atmosphere of Fine Art Building’s Studio B, it feels like an old-fashioned living room. Something old, something cultured, a neutral zone with a color palette to match. Then, while you imagine how much more comfortable the sofa on stage is compared to your own seat, the lights are dimmed, and the show begins after a few words from director Maureen Mines.

The show began with a civil meeting between two couples. The Raleighs’ (Astrid Beza as Annette and Brenden Gregory as Alan) son, “furnished with a stick,” has struck the Novaks’ (Lisa Stockman as Veronica and Benjamin Yi as Michael) son, knocking out two of his teeth. At first, the couples act as civil as possible given the situation. However, as their meeting progresses, it becomes apparent that the play isn’t about the fight between the sons at all. It’s about the clash of opinion, the drive of emotion and the first-world struggles of people trying to embody the civility of Western society. By the end of the play, the childish and animalistic instincts of man are in full force, aided by a bottle of rum, and the adults finally begin to show their true colors. Couple is pitted against couple, women are pitted against men. Calls are rudely answered, flowers are thrown in a frenzy, anxiety induces vomiting. The play is about being human, and it is hysterical.

Backed by a dedicated cast and crew, Maureen Mines directed the show as a part of her thesis for a master’s degree in directing. A different thesis committee member attended each of the play’s four performances last weekend. The show, according to Mines, was influenced by the audience. The direction changed every night, ever so slightly, to highlight different aspects of the production.

According to Mines, there were many challenges that needed to be met if her show was to be a success in front of the thesis committee, the most obvious being the age of the cast versus the age of the characters.

“The actors are single, in their early 20s, they don’t have children,” Mines said. “They have had to work to imagine the circumstances of wanting to protect their children’s interest, as well as being married to someone in a less than ideal situation. If we imagine that the Raleighs and the Novaks have been married for at least 12 years, well, that’s half of the lifespan of these actors.”

Now that the show is over, Mines looks forward to spending more time with her family. Her goal is to bring more live theater to her hometown in Corning, N.Y., and she hopes to expand the theater curriculum in the middle school where she teaches.