Play Time with “Soap Opera”
According to Producer David Gallagher, before this, it hadn’t been done for a “very, very long time.” It opens up a lot of opportunity for the theatre department.
“By saying we really want to do these shows, it’s showing the administration and general campus that we are interested in creating on our own,” said Gallagher.
With seven roles to fill, only three people auditioned, but Director Emily Robinson and Gallagher weren’t too concerned.
“We may start speaking with some performers that we are familiar with, and see if they will fill in the holes,” said Gallagher.
They employed another tactic called “double-casting” as well, which allows one performer to play two different characters. According to Robinson, the cast list could have been cut down to as few as five actors.
“The hope is you’ll have a vibrant cast that will attract an interested audience, and that it will be very successful,” said Brian Peterson, theatre advisor.
Peterson believes learning is best done through experience. When it comes to the student-directed plays, he takes a hands-off approach, but he’s constantly gauging whether they’ll learn more from falling over the hurdle or being helped. He looks at theatre events as an experiment.
Peterson said, “This is far more hands-on than they’ll ever get. That’s just the nature of community colleges.”
Several students were vying for the opportunity to direct the spring one-act. Robinson presented the best case.
“Emily was chosen because she proved that she was very much able to handle this responsibility,” said Gallagher. “She had a very clear vision for what she wanted to do.”
Robinson is a fan of playwright David Ives for his “very sharp wit and ironic sensibilities.”
At age 19, she has over five years of experience in theatre. Robinson has been a director for two other shows (by Shakespeare and David Ives), the stage manager and assistant director for four, and choreographed in the past, but most of her experience has been in performing and backstage/tech work. Currently, she is active in two other local shows. She’s the choreographer for “Dance Club” and is involved in the Corvallis Community Theatre’s presentation of “Guys and Dolls.”
“I’ve been making a transition since my senior year of high school to the big stuff,” said Robinson.
Next year she wants to submit a directing request to Corvallis Community Theatre and Albany Civic Theatre. Her long term plans include transferring to Southern Oregon University to get a degree in stage management so she can work in Ashland’s Shakespeare Festival. SOU offers excellent internships with New York and Los Angeles.
The Audition Process:
To begin the auditioning process, aspiring entertainers are asked to submit an audition form, which acts like a job application, and are given a script to read from. They are allowed about 10 minutes to rehearse their monologue or scene before presenting onstage to the director, producer and the assistant.
Throughout the performance, an actor’s goal is to showcase their best stage qualities such as accents, body language, energy, enunciation and how well they take direction. The director may explore these areas by asking them to read the script again, but as if they have a French accent, are crazy grandpas, are in the middle of a hurricane, or with any number of quirks. Performers may also be asked to switch roles and read with a variety of other actors to test for stage compatibility.
When the students who auditioned leave for the night, the director’s team discusses the potential each of them saw in the candidates, and fills in the slots. The cast list is posted within the following week.
Repairman – Phil Allen
Mabel – Kiah Frenock
Washing Machine – Nikki Funk
Mother – Stacie Slater
Maitre D’/ Madman – Amanda Konstantin
Friend – Mark McIntyre
Soap Opera – by David Ives
June 4-5, 7 p.m. in the Russell Tripp Performance Center
Tickets will be available at the LBCC Box Office.