After the festival opened with three performances from April 9 until April 11, the Belmont Theatre Department continues its celebration for the senior class with three more productions in the 2015 Senior Capstone Festival.
Each performance is developed by at least one senior theater major as a requirement for senior capstone credit. The festival will take place in four different venues on campus until April 19.
The Bible: The Complete Works of God (Abridged)
For senior Dallas Woods, comedy seemed the way to go to end his stint in the Belmont theatre program, and he turned to the Bible for inspiration.
“I decided at that time that an interesting production would be one which primarily consisted of comedy. At the same time, I also wanted to direct a show that was also very ensemble heavy, where there would need to be lots of teamwork, each actor giving 100% to everybody else in the room,” Woods said. “When I started examining all of these areas, ‘The Bible: The Complete Word of God (Abridged)’ seemed like the perfect choice because it encompassed both of these goals.”
In order to deepen his understanding of faith and how actors should portray the elements on stage, Woods did dramaturgical research of the Bible.
“While there is much comedy in this Bible, it also does contain some truths within it. I loved the relationships that the actors build with one another and with the audience. All of these areas placed into my selection of this show.”
Woods said the ensemble utilizes props and costume pieces from different time periods, making the production’s design simple but entertaining.
“This show has been an incredible way to see how these actresses take what props and items they have in order to create whole new worlds in this production. They will transport you back to the times of Abraham while also bringing you along to the modern day,” he said. “All the while, it is their energy and the audience’s suspension of disbelief that creates the world before our eyes.”
Woods said audience members should be prepared for a wild ride and expect interactive moments throughout the production.
“Prepare for the cast to join you in your seats, the flood and Noah’s Ark, the resurrection, and I even heard that the Easter Bunny may be making a surprise visit,” said Woods. “At the very least, come prepared for the most unexpected events, and be prepared for a night that is overflowing with laughter.”
“The Bible: The Complete Works of God (Abridged)” will be performanced Tuesday evening in its entirety at 7:30 p.m. and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Troutt Theater. There will also be a convocation performance of Act II Wednesday morning at 10 a.m.
Amazons and Their Men
The selection process for senior capstone went about differently for senior Grace Mason after her original proposal “Hedda Gabler” became the main stage production this semester.
But after she sat down with the director Jaclyn Jutting, Mason eventually decided on “Amazons and Their Men,” which she described as having “simplistic yet stunning production elements and the subject matter addressing the personal cost of art and the effects of repression.”
“Amazons and Their Men” is a dark comedy that looks at the role of artists during wartime and is inspired by the life of Leni Riefenstahl, a World War II filmmaker who created German propaganda pieces.
To prepare for the production, Mason and the cast watched the documentary “The Wonderful Horrible Life of Leni Riefenstahl” in order to get a better glimpse at Riefenstahl’s life.
“This became intensely informative to my character’s intentions and even physicality. I have to put myself in a place where beauty and making the film become my obsession, and all else, including the lives of the other characters, falls away,” Mason said.
Mason said she looks forward to telling the story of her character and the repression of the character’s art in a trying period of human history.
“The audience will experience the juxtaposition of beauty, or the illusion of beauty, ‘on camera’ and fear forcing people to be someone they are not,” she said.
“Amazons and Their Men” will be performed in the Belmont Little Theatre under Hail Hall on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
While the theatre department doesn’t typically produce musicals, senior Rebekah Lecocq said a musical comedy would best represent her college education for her senior capstone performance.
“I cherish laughter, and consider it an honor when I something I do makes others laugh. This show has lots of laughs. However, there is a human aspect to it that I really enjoy and was probably what drew me to it most,” Lecocq said.
Lecocq described “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” as a humorous take on the search for love and how humans react once they find love.
“Love is there for everyone; young, old, cool, nerdy, etc. Whatever and whoever you are, there is someone in this world that loves you. And that is scary and exciting all at once.”
Because of the musical elements in the production, Lecocq has collaborated with several musical theater students, a staff accompanist and a student musician on campus.
“Our scheduling has been somewhat less than ideal, mostly because I am working with many artists that are involved in multiple things on campus,” she said. “However, in our time together, the cast and I have really been enjoying finding the show together and growing as a collaborative community of artists that do not usually get to work together in the Belmont community.”
“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” will be performed in the Black Box Theatre on Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 7:30 p.m.