Theatre student Somar Lanh ‘14 writes and directs “The Doms Collective” a play that will be performed at several locations all across campus in the style of site-specific theatrics.
This Friday and Saturday, March 28-29 at 8 p.m., a more modern-kind of theater show is coming to the Fred Stone Theatre in the form of The Doms Collective (pronounced “Doms” as in “Domino’s Pizza”), a site-specific play written and directed by Somar “Suki” Lanh ’14. It is a completely independent production, separate from the Rollins College second stage series. Site-specific theater is a style in which the actors are not constricted to a traditional indoor theater space, but instead the action takes place in a specific, real-life location. Site-specific theater has become very popular in Europe.
In this particular instance, The Doms Collective will be unfolding around Rollins’ campus, and the audience will actually be following the actors around, able to get as up close and personal to each character as they like. Lanh has mentioned that audience members should be prepared to walk, jog, run, and maybe even crawl. Sites around campus will include outside and inside the Fred, the Holt building, the Ward Costume Studio, the inside of a car, and within a girl’s bathroom.
Lanh first encountered site-specific theatre while studying abroad in London and fell in love with the unique intimacy the form allowed. She had always known she wanted to write a play, ideally a comedy revolving around five women expressing the dynamic of 18- to 22-year-old females. It was last fall semester, when she put this desire into action by taking a semester-long independent study course focusing on playwriting, working closely with Professor William Boles. And thus, The Doms Collective was born.
The plot portrays the story of five girls (Zara, Kat, Laura, Robin, and Anissa) who have been best friends since their first year of college. It is now nearing the close of their senior year, and they have all drifted in slightly different directions. On the night of Kat’s (Chris Rosendahl ‘14) senior showcase, Zara (Katherine Waddell ’14) tries desperately to recreate the most memorable night of their lives from freshman year. She does not want to lose her best friends as time speeds up around them. Robin (Crysta Vickers ’15) serves as the mother hen for the group. She is highly academic but also a “baller friend” according to Director Lanh. Anissa (Lily Garnett ’17) is a sweet, southern girl, always eager to please. And then there is Laura (Cailin Dornbush ’15), the tech-trendy chick with boyfriend issues.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Dornbush, and she has fallen for site-specific theater, believing it to have a much clearer setting that can thus tell a story better. Also, she adores that there is more opportunity to play around with her surroundings than in the traditional theater; her favorite moment in the play is jumping over rosebushes.
There will be pizza. There will be water guns. There will be karaoke. The main themes of this production are the power of female friendship, change, and the dangers of self-destruction. Lanh has adored working on The Doms Collective, enjoying watching her actresses make big choices and take risks. In her eyes, they have put something out there that has not been seen before, and at the end of the day, that is what matters to her. A jubilantly energetic last scene will have the viewers walking away with good vibes.
Don’t miss out on seeing this unique performance! Because of rising interest in the production, they are forced to put a cap of twenty audience members per night.
Reservations should be made in advance, by way of emailing stage manager Giana Blazquez ‘16 at email@example.com. Be sure to include which night you would like to attend, what name the tickets should be reserved under, and the amount of people in your party.
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