“A stitch in time…” Wait, how does the last part go again? This quote may seem irrelevant but after watching the twisted and unforgettable performance of Nine, you will know what I am talking about.
Unlike most performances which occur at the Annie Russell Theatre, this production featured at the Fred Stone Theatre has a dark and edgy element to it.
The audience is warned before the show starts that if anyone feels uncomfortable, he or she is able to leave at any time.
It was this edginess that made student-director Shannon Singley ’11 have an “instant love affair” with the play.
“The theatre department gave me a bunch of scripts to read, but I knew right away it would be this one when I saw it. I love how it shows the indomitable will of the human spirit despite the darkness.”
Indeed, it is this theme of the human spirit which intrigues the audience the entire time during the play.
Without giving anything away, the plot centers on two females who are imprisoned together in a cell of some sort. They take turns leaving the cell for what appears to be some sort of investigation and torture.
The uncertainty of the play was the most challenging aspect for Singley. “The script isn’t specific at all so there’s so much freedom. I really tried to make the fear organic.”
She also mentioned a unique characteristic of this play: it only has two characters. “There is so much actor and character attention, especially in the relationship between the two females. Everything they do is a survival technique.”
The two characters captivated me as they went back and forth between bitter enemies who spew vulgar insults at each other and companions who only have each other for support.
With all the focus on them, Shayla Alamino ’12 and Jaz Zepatos ’13 had the pressure to make an intense and convincing performance. Both agreed that this play was different than anything they had done before, as it was “demanding,” “liberating,” and focused on very small, “subtle changes” in behavior, as they “tried to wrap their heads around what these women are doing.”
It also helped that the two are good friends and exhibited great chemistry on the stage. “We really lucked out working with each other, because you need to trust your partner,” says Zepatos. “It made the process easier, fun and more dynamic for me,” adds Alamino.
They both call Singley “an amazing director” who brought some light to the play. Singley also had an amazing experience and said, “It’s such a blessing to jump into this. I never felt tired or impatient doing this play and I was always excited to go to rehearsal.”
The production is completely student run and definitely a show worth seeing. Nine runs only through this weekend, so make your way to the Fred Stone Theatre tonight or tomorrow at 8 p.m. or Sunday afternoon at 2 for an incredible free show.