Ah, the arts. So elegant, so beguiling, so enchanting, so—unpredictable. Well, at least most of the time. That’s what I’m here for: to inform the public of what to expect from the Rollins Theatre Department this semester. The lovely Annie Russell Theatre will be hosting three full-length main stage productions, and the quaint Fred Stone Theatre will be the home of two full-length second stage productions. As typical of theatre, we are in for some laughs, tears, and heartbreaks. Here is our sneak peak, our “movie preview,” if you will:
Annie Russell Theatre
The Clean House
Set in a “meta-physical Connecticut,” this is a serio-comedic romance written by Sarah Ruhl and reincarnated in the form of beautiful guest director Aradhana Tiwari’s vision. Matilde, a Brazilian maid, lives with two married—and very busy—doctors, constantly searching for the perfect joke instead of cleaning. “A perfect joke is somewhere between an angel and a fart.” The joking pauses when the household, the very clean household, discovers that the husband has found his bashert, his soulmate, in one of his cancer patients. The rest of the play is a whirlwind as the characters try to put the puzzle pieces of their lives neatly back together again, struggling with acceptance, and relying on laughter to mend what’s broken.
The stage manager of the play is Kodi Miller, with assitant stage managers Alex Mariano and Lauren Werner. The cast includes: Amanda Borja, Ricci Prioletti, Kami Spaulding, Lalitha Kasal, and Jake Teixeira.
Opening night is Friday February 14th, at 8 p.m. Following performances are: February 15th at 8 p.m., February 16th at 4 p.m., February 19th-21st at 8 p.m., and Sunday February 22nd at 2 p.m. and again at 8 p.m.
Song & Dance
This production is a melting pot of talent from Rollins’ musical theatre and dance students directed by W. Robert Sherry. Sherry has adapted Song and Dance for the 21st Century, and we are to expect a joyous cabaret beginning to spark up the evening with melodic concert dance works to close the night. Music to be included is considered “the best of Broadway,” although no specific titles have been confirmed as of yet. Regardless, it is sure to be a night of superior entertainment for all.
The stage managers are Gabby Schiavenato and Sarah Griffin. The dancers are: Annie Nyce, Madeline Camille Priest, Francesca Agostino, Megan Matthews, Megan Fabian, Maria Almaraz, Colby White, Brittany Baum, Amy Sullivan, Aiden McKean, Karolina Gancarz, Stephanie Everett, Isabella Ward, Nicolas Petersen-G, Daniel Martinez, Giana Blazquez, and Isabella Miyares.
The singers are: Bernard Farquharson, Christopher Graiton, Angel Velez, Nick Dimiano, Daniel Martinez, William Mitchell, Kristen Soto, Kiki Sabater, Giana Blasquez, Mikayla Phillips, Meg Beck, and Isabella Miyeres.
Song & Dance premieres Friday March 14th at 8 p.m., and only has one follow-up showing on March 15th, also at 8 p.m.
The Lost Comedies of William Shakespeare
Get ready for a two-act fully improvised Shakespeare show conceived and directed by Dr. David Charles. On the notorious day of April 23, 1616, Shakespeare’s acting company, the King’s Men, gather eagerly to await the release of his newest comedy. Alas, what the King’s Men are not aware of is that April 23, 1616 marks the anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth… but also his death. Desperate to appease a crowd expecting a comedy who have already paid, the King’s Men take suggestions from the audience on what to include in their performance—names, animals, locations, events, and whatnot. Potential viewers can expect to see familiar Shakespearian archetypes: the language, the puns, star-crossed lovers, angsty philosophers, trickery, withes, fools, kings, and the like. On stage will be a musician to accompany the piece, as well as folly artist—whose sole role it is to create the sound effects necessary as they come. Most importantly, the audience truly helps direct where the show is going through their suggestions and reactions. No two shows will be the same.
Dr. Charles hopes to create a Shakespeare that even the modern layman will find funny—dragging Shakespeare into the 21st century kicking and screaming. He hopes that by the end of the performance, the audience will have found the show very tongue-in-cheek but also a true homage to Shakespeare.
The stage manager is Anastasia Herbert. The King’s Men are as follows: James Blaisdell, Kathleen Capdesuner, Casey Casteel, David Charles, Caisey Cole, Alexandra Feliciano, Samantha Frontera, Savannah Halley, Grace Loescher, Ricci Prioletti, Kiki Sabater, Emily Steward, Taylor Sorrel, Isabella Ward, and Ethan White.
The show opens on Friday April 18th at 8 p.m., and runs through April 19th at 8 p.m., April 20th at 4 p.m., April 23rd-25th at 8 p.m., and April 26th at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. (that’s right, there will be a show on Shakespeare’s actual birthday!)
Fred Stone Theatre
All New People
The first second stage performance of the semester was written by Scrubs character Zach Braff and is directed by student Suki Lanh. It revolves around a suicidal Charlie from New Jersey who has come to his friend’s upscale Long Beach Island house to commit the deed. However, before he can fulfill his intentions, Charlie is interrupted by a real-estate agent, and then a fire-fighter, and then an escort. With all of these people barging in, how will Charlie ever be able to kill himself?
The stage manager is Olivia Matthews. The cast is as follows: Peter Ruiz, Alexios Venieris, Samantha Frontera, and Jamaica Reddick.
The show opens Wednesday February 19th at 8 p.m., and then runs from February 20th-21st at 8 p.m., February 22nd at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., closing on February 23rd at 2 p.m.
Gruesome Playground Injuries
This piece, written by Rajiv Joseph and directed by Rollins student Hanna Cole, strays away more from the humorous side of theatre that the aforementioned productions carry. The play revolves around two childhood friends who bond over the shared experience of self-harm. They are fascinated by each other’s imperfections. Through the next thirty years, the two are re-united in insane asylums, hospital rooms, funerals… each time drawing closer and closer together.
The stage manager is Talii Stokes. The couple was cast as Katherine Waddell and Christ Stewart.
The show opens Wednesday April 9th at 8 p.m., and goes on to April 10th-11th at 8 p.m., April 12th at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., and April 13th at 2 p.m.