Winter Productions Will Highlight Student Actors
by Clementine Wiley on Friday, February 7th, 2014
After the whimsical numbers of the fall’s lively, satirical shows Avenue Q and Midsummer/Jersey, this season’s The Laramie Project and True West explore more serious, powerful themes, portraying extreme yet familiar scenarios.
Playing in King Theater on February 6th through 8th, The Laramie Project, by Moises Kaufman, recounts interviews from the inhabitants of Laramie, Wyoming, where 21-year-old Michael Shepherd was brutally murdered in 1998 for his homosexuality. An adaptation of these interviews, the play spotlights hostility against gays, protesting the shocking violence that can spawn from it. The show encourages LGBTQ acceptance and spreads awareness of prejudice; in fact, about a month ago the original cast of the play, part of the Tectonic Theater Project, visited Milton to discuss the show’s inspirations and production.
“The play is moving, has moments of humor, and it is all true. This happened, these people said these words, and there is something incredibly powerful about that!” commented the director Ms. Moyer. In addition to featuring a touching topic, the show presents a wide variety of perspectives: seventy characters played by thirteen actors. “You’ll get to see us portray various, totally different characters, each with their own voices, stances, and views,” explained actor Charlie Barrett (II).
More humbly produced but no less entertaining, Tony Award-nominated True West by Sam Shepard, is the 1212 play in Wigglesworth Hall on February 20th and 21st. Blending humor with gravity, the story depicts the collision of two brothers, one a Hollywood screenwriter and the other a thief, when they reunite after estrangement. As their deep yet funny interactions develop, the brothers shift roles by transforming into one another and paralleling each other’s original selves. The conflicts culminate in angry eruptions and outrageous, funny scenes, including “emotions and details that you have to pick up on,” which, according to actor Silvio Rossi (III), are a couple of the most significant aspects. Actor Louie Demetroulakos (II) claims his favorite part of the show is “the depth of (his) character. There’s a wide range of emotions.” The enactment of the colorful roles by the small cast of students, according to True West’s director Mr. Fuller, is especially interesting to watch.
Both The Laramie Project and True West address a variety of societal issues, feature the complexities of character and emotions, and incorporate humor into dramatic topics. So add some depth to your thought and provoke some discussion this February by seeing these powerful, heralded works presented by your classmates.
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