• Lillie Burke

‘33 Variations’ comes to Black Box stage

The Black Box Theater will open its first play of the season Nov. 12 with “33 Variations,” which takes its name from a Beethoven waltz.

“33 Variations” is a dual storyline, separated by 200 years, about a mother in present-day New York and a composer in nineteenth-century Austria who share the same obsession. It explores relationships and shows how the present sometimes mirrors the past.

The play is an ensemble cast and Tony Richardson, a freshman, will play Beethoven’s multiple variations on the piano throughout, director Laura Skaug Green said.

Sophomore Mary Cullen plays the lead role of Dr. Katherine Brandt – a role played by Jane Fonda in the Broadway production. In the play, Katherine slowly deteriorates from Lou Gehrig’s disease as the play progresses.

Cullen, whose role in “33 Variations” is her first in a Belmont play, she said there are difficulties with playing an older woman because of the age difference.

“It challenges me to explore ideas and emotions that I haven’t experienced,” Cullen said. “It’s a healthy challenge. It pushes me outside of my comfort zone.”

Cullen said she thinks students should attend because the play overflows with Beethoven’s work, and it provides an intriguing look into the past and will challenge audience members to evaluate their relationships.

“It will impact every person who comes to see it,” Cullen said. “It is a beautiful work of art … people will not be disappointed.”

Getting there

33 Variations opens with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12. Other performances are scheduled through Nov. 21. Tickets are $8 for adults and $4 for faculty and staff. The play is free for Belmont students and culture and arts convo credit will be given.

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