With plays such as Drowning Girls, Top Girl, Minnesota Moon and Dr. Faustus, this term’s theatre line-up will be packed with performances of all types, genres and sizes. Auditions for all shows will begin today, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m.
Drowning Girls by Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson and Daniela Vlaskalic will be the main-stage production this term, showing in Harbach Theatre from Nov. 1 to Nov. 4. As explained by post-bacc Ren Barkey, the play is about a group of women who have been murdered on their wedding night. Drowning Girls will be directed by Liz Carlin-Metz.
Minnesota Moon by John Olive, which will be performed in the Studio Theatre on Sept. 29 and 30, is about two young men discussing life during the Vietnam War. The pair have recently lost a friend to the war, while another is about to deploy. The play is on the shorter side, running at an average of 35 minutes — perfect for less experienced actors. However, there is a lot of emotional depth to this coming of age story. Joel Willison will direct.
Coming to the Studio Theatre on Oct. 13 and 14, Top Girls by Caryl Churchill is about a woman named Marlene, who is driven by the idea of having a female-oriented business. Her co-workers are all revealed to be famous women in history. As the play progresses, viewers watch as Marlene becomes the archetype of an oppressive male boss. The play certainly examines traditional gender-norms and the subversive nature of patriarchal structures. This play will be directed by Barkley themself.
Christopher Marlowe’s Dr.Faustus will be directed by Sarah Lowe and will be performed in Studio Theatre on Oct. 27 and 28. This classic play is about a doctor who decides to dabble in magic, and proceeds to summon a demon. The doctor and the demon get into a fair deal of mischief around town. Though initially comedic, there is a foreboding tone in the play.
“The theatre advisory board (TAB) and the faculty usually pick the plays,” Barkey said. “But it’s all student directed and student acted.”
According to Barkey, getting the plays together can be difficult at first. They used to work on costume design, which is how they got their start in theatre, so they know intimately the fine detail that goes into each production.
“Things will be easier once auditions are done and we have a set schedule. Rehearsal is usually 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. every weekday. It’s a commitment, but there is always Playground which can be more of stepping stone towards a full play,” Barkey said.
Playground is another program put on by the theatre department, during which, students are encouraged to submit their own original works. These can range from mini-plays to full-plays, or even individual scenes. The entire program is student-run and only lasts for about a week, offering an opportunity for those who can’t commit much time to theatre.
“Playground is a great way to get into the department; it’s a good way to experience acting.” Barkey said.
Although Barkey says they are not at all an actor, they have acted in a play before. Though it was nerve-wracking, Barkey said it really helped them with confidence and public speaking. For new auditioners, Barkey has some words of wisdom.
“I would say auditions are not that big of a deal. I know they can be stressful, but the people evaluating the auditions are students, too,” Barkey said. “We’ve all been in acting classes and have been in the same shoes. If you’re nervous, it’s okay, we got you!”
Auditions for all shows this term will be held in Room 211 of CFA. Students will be given a scene or a monologue from a play, and then will perform it once they’ve practiced. Students will find out if they got a part the same day.
“Even if you don’t get a part, there are so many ways that you can be involved with the theatre, and even just being backstage really helps you learn how actors are supposed to move and deliver lines,” Barkey said.
For students interested, Barkey encourages getting involved in simple ways.
“Mingling and just coming out to events is the best way to get you foot in the department. The theatre community is such a supportive one, everyone here has got each other’s backs!”