2019 BIENNIAL NEW PLAY FESTIVAL
Fall 2019 Mainstage Production
CAST INTERVIEW: REVOLTING CROTCH
Our final cast interview has arrived! Meet the cast of Revolting Crotch, written by Zoe DiPinto and directed by Samson Martin, and learn more about Playfest's last hurrah as they chat with CUPS Events Chair and festival producer Will McKeon about growing up and bad audiobooks!
Will McKeon: Tell me about your show: what’s it about? What should audiences expect when they come to see it?
Lital Dotan (“Mrs. Stockholm”): I think it’s a coming of age story, of a 13 year old girl who is in her rebellious phase.
Casey Bowers (“Kelly”): A well-deserved rebellious phase!
Dotan (“Mrs. Stockholm”): Yes! A very well deserved rebellious phase. She has to deal with a mom who has agoraphobia and a dad who just left, and her friends are fighting.
McKeon: Alright, so what are some major themes of the show? What things do you think the audience will connect with when they come in and see the show, what do you think will hit them the most?
Tim Lucey (“Harry”): Growing up - I mean, everybody’s growing up. No one ever really stops growing up, and when you become a teenager, things really start to pick up because you don’t really know what’s going on. You’re growing hair in places, you’re getting feelings, and all of a sudden, you don’t know why but you hate your mom. The way that I was reading the script when I first got it, I thought “This is just a pop-punk album on paper!” so I was pretty stoked about it. It was cool.
Bowers (“Kelly”): It’s the first time that you realize there are other people outside yourself, and you don’t know how to interact with that yet.
Dotan (“Mrs. Stockholm”): And also that asking for help is okay.
Bowers (“Kelly”): Yes!
McKeon: What aspects of the show have resonated with YOU the most? What’s hit you hardest? How do you connect to this play?
Bowers (“Kelly”): I just think I need to talk to my mom more.
Lucey (“Harry”): Honestly it just made me dig up music that I hadn’t listened to in a long time, and I was like “wow!” There was some point in my life where I was like, “yeah, no for sure, I completely get what they’re talking about!” And now that I’m older, I’m looking back on it and I’m like, “wow, all these kids are making dumb decisions just like I did when I was growing up.” So it was this great kind of self-retrospective.
McKeon: So you’ve mentioned music a couple of times, going off of that, what kind of music do your characters listen to?
Bowers (“Kelly”): Kelly tells people that she listens to pop-punk and stuff, but really she just only listens to audiobooks. And they’re not good audiobooks, either.
Lucey (“Harry”): Most people are not gonna get this reference, but there are bands like The Story So Far Harry listens to, and old-school Eminem, and he probably thinks to himself, “I completely get what this guy is talking about!”
Kevin Connors (“Simon”): Simon listens to a lot of classical music, definitely.
Dotan (“Mrs. Stockholm”): Yeah! I think Mrs. Stockholm listens to a lot of calm music, maybe also audiobooks, maybe that’s where Kelley gets her audiobooks.
Bowers (“Kelly”): Again, they’re BAD audiobooks, like, bad preteen romance novels.
Dotan (“Mrs. Stockholm”): Yeah, and Mrs. Stockholm listens to the adult version, like, really dramatic romance novels.
Bowers (“Kelly”): Kelly also listens to early One Direction, but only early One Direction, and she won’t admit it to anyone!
McKeon: What are your final thoughts? What’s something you would like to say to the audience about this play? If you could talk directly to an audience member, what would you say to them?
Bowers (“Kelly”): Don’t give your younger self too much of a hard time, they’re dealing.
Dotan (“Mrs. Stockholm”): Yeah, you had to be there to get where you are now. It’s OK to be small and do things that are cringy and it’s fine!
Lucey (“Harry”): I would say learn from your mistakes because you’ll grow up past whatever happens. Finally, come see Revolting Crotch and be ready to laugh, have fun, and leave thinking, “huh. Yeah. That was heartwarming!”
Bowers (“Kelly”): Come see Revolting Crotch! And shoutout to Zoe!
Lucey (“Harry”): Yeah shoutout to Zoe, shoutout to Samson, shoutout to Kelsey - really, we could keep going down the line. So shoutout to CUPS, shouts out to the cast, the crew, everyone!
Revolting Crotch, written by Zoe DiPinto and directed by Samson Martin, opens on Friday, November 15th, at 7:30 pm in the Little Center Michelson Theater.
CAST INTERVIEW: IN THE DARK
Tired of being kept in the dark about our penultimate show? The cast of Playfest's fifth entry, In the Dark, written by Lyndsay deManBey and directed by Lyndsey Hawkes, discussed the complexities of their characters in an interview with Playfest Producer and CUPS Secretary Dylan Parra. Read on to see what they had to say!
Dylan Parra: First of all, how is everyone liking rehearsal so far? How is the process?
Ha Hunyh (Julie): We’re having a great time, I really this play.
Jake Rosenthal (Joe): It’s a very collaborative effort for the entire cast, Lyndsey [Hawkes] opens up a big dialogue about everything: the characters, the scenes, and what-not.
Wyatt Hoover (Bobby): Lyndsey gives us a lot of opportunities to explore the inner mechanisms of our characters, and when we’re not doing that, we’re just having fun. It’s really cool.
Parra: Do we have any stand-out favorite parts from the show?
Will Mahan (Calvin): I really like the end scene. It really brings the whole show together and wraps everything up in a satisfying way with a good plot twist.
Parra: Okay, going along with that, do we have any parts that are particularly challenging?
Hoover (Bobby): I mean, for me personally, my character goes through a lot of development and changes throughout the entirety of the show. With the matter of memorizing lines and taking them to heart, it’s going to be challenging for me to try to do these different emotions and motivations for scenes, but overall it still makes for a really enjoyable experience.
Parra: How does everyone feel about their individual role?
Kat Morelli (Dirtbike): My character’s name is Dirtbike, and that’s very obviously not their real name, so when I first read the script, I was wondering why I was cast in this part because they seem so different than me, but over time I’ve been finding ways to put myself in the character so its easier to play.
Mahan (Calvin): I find that my character is kinda cool because he has his moments where he’s himself, but he also has another side to him where he is how Bobby views him. It’s two different ways of playing him in the show, and that’s pretty cool.
Drew Brodney (Omar): My character is very interesting. I definitely understood why I was cast as him, because he’s a very outgoing, chaotic person. He goes through this change, and the best part has been learning how to act in that change because that is a range I’ve never done before. It’s been a great process. Lyndsey has been talking through it with me and I really enjoy finding out what kind of person my character is and how to act it out.
Elle Woolever-Frost (Kayla): All the characters are after something to make them feel better, whether it is a person or a goal, and every character has a strong vision of how they view the future and how they’re going to get there. It’s very interesting to see everyone work together or against each other to get there.
Kira Houston (Ponch): I think the show is extremely well-cast. Everyone has this special way of fitting into their character’s shoes, whether that be because you feel like that character is made for you, or if you have to work into a role that you haven’t had experience with before. I think that the cast brings a really special energy into each different character.
Parra: One more question: how do you feel about Playfest as a whole?
Morelli (Dirtbike): I’m really glad that Clark has an opportunity for undergraduate playwrights to show off their plays and express what they want to express.
Brodney (Omar): I’m very thankful to be surrounded by such a talented cast and crew. I hadn’t done theater since high school, and I auditioned on a whim.
Rosenthal (Joe): It’s very cool to see how Lyndsey has managed to bring everyone together in the process within this short period of time. This feels like a super professional, put-together production and I feel like it’ll be very special in the end.
In the Dark, written by Lyndsey deManBey and directed by Lyndsey Hawkes, opens on Tuesday, November 12th at 7:30 pm in the Little Center Michelson Theater.
CAST INTERVIEW: THE LIST
Fourth show, fourth cast interview! Murderous wives, unsuspecting neighbors, and promiscuous secretaries were among the topics of discussion when Playfest Producer and CUPS Publicity Chair Alex Sklarz sat down with the amazing cast of Riley Kay's The List. Read all about it below!
Sklarz: If this is your first show at Clark, what has you experience been like so far?
David Kerrigan (Mr. King): This is my first show at Clark, I’m very excited. So far it’s been a wonderful experience. I’ve done shows in high school but thus far acting at Clark is way more intense, but a lot more fun.
Christy Dodson (Stephanie/Bethany): This is my first show at Clark. I’ve always loved singing and acting, and then my friends were, like, “You need to do Playfest! You need to get involved this year,” so I finally did! I’m so happy. Everybody’s been so welcoming and it’s just a really fun time. If you love acting, join!
Will Urquhart (Jason Dixon): This is my first show at Clark. It’s been a fun and welcoming atmosphere. I think that our director, Toni, is absolutely wonderful, and has created different ways of learning about the characters rather than just reading a script, but doing all kinds of new things. It’s been fun and interesting.
Sklarz: As a returner to theatre at Clark, what is it that keeps you coming back?
Emily Buza (Sharon): I’m a senior who’s been doing theatre all four years and I’m a Theatre Arts major, so what keeps me coming back is just that I love it. I love the stage, I love this community, I love being a part of Playfest. It’s such a cool, fun event to do every two years and I just love it.
Jessie Klitus-Flaim (Deborah Dixon): This is my third show. I’m a transfer student so I’ve only been doing this for a couple years but I really love acting, and everyone’s been really great!
Sarah Drapeau (Veronica Dixon): I’ve been in two previous productions and I keep coming back to theatre here because the theatre community very clearly loves the art form, is a super solid community together, and is very supportive of each other.
Lyndsay deManBey (Dr. Phillips): Well, the reason I keep doing shows at Clark is because I’m a theater major - one. And two - because I love theatre. And three - because I read Riley’s script, and it’s really cool, and I’m really glad that I got to be a part of it.
Sklarz: What do you like and dislike about your character? Is there another character you feel like you relate to more?
Kerrigan (Mr. King): I like the idea of my character because I wanted to play kind of an evil character at one point. I dislike pretty much everything about him because he’s awful. But I’d say that I relate to Sharon, definitely because I’m way more outgoing than King.
Buza (Sharon): I really love playing Sharon. I love her energy, her enthusiasm, her optimism. There’s nothing I really dislike about her. She can be a bit of a challenge to play because she’s very different from some of the other characters I’ve been cast as at Clark, but she’s just a lot of fun, and if I have to relate to someone in the show, I would pick her. She’s just, such a fun time.
Klitus-Flaim (Deborah Dixon): Deborah is a very caring mother and grandmother, but not so caring towards her daughter-in-law. I think Sharon’s really the most identifiable character. She’s a real person. I mean, Veronica’s a murderer, so I don’t really want to identify with that.
Drapeau (Veronica Dixon): I love Veronica because she knows what she wants and she’ll go for that and protect her family, although I don’t resonate with her because I think she takes things a little bit too far sometimes. I think out of all the characters in the show, I would also have to say Sharon is the one that I’d relate to the most. She’s super funny and super fun to be around and very loving.
Dodson (Stephanie/Bethany): So, in the past, all that I’ve played before is “the nice girl” - the typical, very nice girl. So, this show is very different for me. I don’t relate to Stephanie, but she’s very, very flirty, and she kind of gets in the way of families and should maybe go a little bit differently in the workplace. But, my other character, Bethany - she doesn’t deserve what she gets. That’s all I have to say about her. I relate, I think, to Sharon as well, she’s very decent compared to everybody else here.
deManBey (Dr. Phillips): I hate Dr. Phillips because he’s a sleazeball, but that’s the exact same reason why I like him - I’m not a sleazeball. I hate sleazeballs but it’s so much fun being able to play one onstage. You just get to be an ass and you can’t really do that in real life.
Urquhart (Jason Dixon): So Jason’s an interesting guy. He’s Veronica’s husband, but he has this oblivious vibe. He’s very dedicated to his work and he’s very dedicated to his family, but over the course of the play he sinks into his office. So, everything going on at home becomes a blur. He and Veronica will be in bed and she’ll be confessing to all these murders and he’s be like, “oh, that’s great, honey.” He seems like a decent guy but there are a couple times where I’m just like, “cool it, Jason.”
Sklarz: Without giving anything away, what is your favorite line of dialogue in the play?
Kerrigan (Mr. King): “Easy. Just like your old secretary, Sarah.”
Buza (Sharon): “So I put on my tennis shoes, and I followed him.”
Klitus-Flaim (Deborah Dixon): “Not my cookbook!”
Drapeau (Veronica Dixon): “She’s always very cold-hearted. I guess it finally froze to a stop. You know how those things go.”
Dodson (Stephanie/Bethany): “I’m his secretary. I couldn’t leave him alone even if I wanted to. And I don’t want to.”
deManBey (Dr. Phillips): “Yes, I gathered that, but there are different kinds of spotting! Like if it’s shaped like Jesus, that’s probably a good sign. But if you got an itty bitty little Hitler in your pants, it’s probably a problem!”
Urquhart (Jason Dixon): “Could you not kill her on the kitchen table?”
Sklarz: Why should people see this show?
Kerrigan (Mr. King): This show has a lot. It’s a lot, and I feel like people are going to enjoy it because they’re always going to have a fulfillment of excitement, because it’s a lot. I want them to really enjoy the show, because I really enjoyed acting in this show.
Buza (Sharon): People should come see this show because it’s got a little bit of everything. It’s dark and it’s dramatic and it’s violent but it’s also very funny and very interesting and a little mysterious and you get to see all of us get into some intense fights throughout the show, so you should definitely check it out.
Klitus-Flaim (Deborah Dixon): You’re both going to be very scared and laugh a lot.
Drapeau (Veronica Dixon): We’ve all put a lot of work into bringing the script to life and there are going to be a lot of awesome effects.
Urquhart (Jason Dixon): It’s an incredibly funny play, for however much death goes on. I think there’s a lot of really good bits of humor and of the dichotomy between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. I think if people want to see a laugh, and if people want to see so much murder, they should really come see it.
Dodson (Stephanie/Bethany): Is drama your thing? Do you like to be scared? Well, we have a seat here for you, because you won’t be bored. There are so many different things going on at one time, it’s ridiculous, so you don’t want to miss this. That’s all I have to say.
deManBey (Dr. Phillips): There’s a lot of murder involved, people who get killed, and since it’s Clark, people love stuff like that. So, come watch a show that’s very well-written and very well-acted. Everyone’s really good, our director’s amazing, people will die, and you’ll love it.
Sklarz: Any final words from the production team?
Macy Drude (Stage Manager): It’s a great show! It’s really scary, but it’s going to be great.
Toni Armstrong (Director): Murder.
The List, written by Riley Kay Sternhagen and directed by Toni Armstrong, opens on Friday, November 8th, in the Little Center Michelson Theater.
CAST INTERVIEW: ELEMENTS
We proudly present our third cast interview! The cast of Luke Pound's Elements: A Short Play Anthology had a wonderful conversation with Playfest producer and CUPS Treasurer Casey Bowers as they tried to help her unravel the wild ride that is their show. Read all about it below!
Casey Bowers: What is this play about?
Nick Sturman: The best answer that I can give is what I’ve been telling my friends: a short collection of plays based on Aristotle’s elements, or what he believed to be the core of theatre.
Erin Frizzell: Character, plot, idea, diction, music, and spectacle.
Liam Stewart: One of the best productions you’ll ever see. That’s what this is about!
Bowers: Are there any elements of Aristotle’s theatre that you resonate with in particular?
Henry Hutcheson: I think something that’s really nailed is Spectacle and when you come to see that part of the show you’ll get a glimpse into the world of tech week, what it takes to make a show look nice, and how hellish and clunky and unglamorous it can be.
Stewart: Personally, I’m a big fan of Idea. I think there’s something in Idea that will resonate with everybody. Whenever I hear monologues in that piece, I’m blown away by how many introspective ideas are presented in one production.
Ilse McCormick: Idea is chaotic energy.
Sturman: For me, none resonate above the others because of how different they are, they all bring you on these wonderful journeys of thought that are really fascinating. As a cast, we’ve read the script over and over and over again, and there’s always a new thought. It’s always new and it’s always fresh.
Frizzell: I like Plot, it’s a great mix of drama and comedy. There’s one moment where it’s intense and dramatic and then funny two seconds later.
Emma Couillard: I resonate with all of the compartmentalizing in the show, which is something I tend to do, where I look at the parts of a show on their own. What you come away with at the end of this experience is a big-picture mindset, understanding you can’t look at everything separately.
Bowers: Throughout this production process, how has your relationship with the script changed?
Couillard: I came in very confused, and I’m still a little confused, but I think a lot of things have begun to make sense, such as our show-within-a-show, and my characters throughout the different pieces having a common thread that weaves them together.
Frizzell: Well, on our first read-through, we weren’t even cast in our parts yet. So it’s interesting that some roles we’ve read for are still the same, but others have switched. It was a really cool process where everything was fluid.
Stewart: That process led me to a lot of questions of how we were chosen and trying to explore that for yourself and why you were chosen for your particular part. I know at least, in my experience, you’re cast based on what you read, but in this case, we were able to present it through in an alternative way.
Sturman: My relationship has changed not in casting, but more because I feel a part of this show as a whole, as opposed to performing in different plays. And because they’re all so different but still share themes, we’re a collaborative team, and the script has helped us through that.
Frizzell: And I think that’s one thing I really like about this show - even though we all play different characters throughout the entire thing, there are clear lines to follow through each character.
McCormick: I love finding connection between whatever piece I’m a part of. They’re all very separate, but there are still connections to be made.
Hutcheson: The most significant change that I’ve encountered is the constant question of, “what is going on?” The more I come to understand it, the more I come to appreciate it, but the more I become terrified we’ll need to express what’s going to an audience that only gets to see it once.
Sturman: Some scenes make it harder than others to accomplish that. Diction, and also Idea. Some of these plays aren’t coherent in a coherent way, and it’s our job to make sure this rambling nonsense makes sense to the audiences so they can follow it.
Stewart: It’s a “when you get it, you get it” kind of thing.
Bowers: What should audiences know going into this show?
Stewart: Good luck.
Sturman: Have an open mind.
McCormick: There are concrete connections.
Hutcheson: You’ll want a couple cups of coffee in your system beforehand.
Sturman: And be patient. There are a lot of things that don’t make sense until the very end, you have to stick with it.
Bowers: Speaking of the audience, can you give two or three words to how the audience is going to feel walking out?
Stewart: A whirlwind.
Sturman: Enlightened, but confused.
Frizzell: Confused, but intrigued.
Couillard: Some discussions will want to be had.
Bowers: Do you have one, Kim?
Kim Carrell (Director): They’ll have had their buttons pushed.
Bowers: One more question: if this show were a breakfast food, what would it be?
McCormick: Green eggs and ham.
Couillard: A yogurt parfait.
Sturman: Black coffee and burnt toast. In the best possible way.
Frizzell: Cold pizza.
Stewart: I think it’s a bit of a pasta primavera.
Hutcheson: It’s definitely not breadsticks.
Elements: A Short Play Anthology, written by Luke Pound and directed by Kim Carrell, opens on Tuesday, November 5th, at 7:30 pm in the Little Center Michelson Theatre.
CAST INTERVIEW: POOR CONNECTION
Our second cast interview is here! Playfest producer and CUPS Vice President Aisling Lynch sat down with the cast of Brett Iarrobino's Poor Connection to hear what they had to say about their one part-electrophobic, one part-robotic play that's high-tech and full of heart.
Aisling Lynch: What made you want to audition for Playfest? How does this compare to your previous experiences with theatre?
Cohen Cohen (“Jimmy”): I haven’t had a ton of exposure to theatre in the traditional sense, like auditioning and going for a role and learning lines, the whole jazz, but it’s always something I’d considered doing. I actually found out about Playfest from the playwright directly, and I thought it would be fun to try out. And it’s been exciting to get the chance to work here.
Esther de Araujo (“Kathryn”): I’ve done theatre all throughout high school, I’ve tried my hand in directing, but I love acting and being up on the stage.
Bella Conary (“Elle”): The same goes for me. I actually worked with the playwright a bit in high school productions, so it was a really cool coincidence to land here in his show.
Aanandita Bali (“Meredith”): This is my first play! So I feel like I’m always asking everybody while we’re working, “what does that mean?” But this is such a supportive environment, everyone’s super nice and helpful about it.
Lynch: Do you have a favorite moment in the show, or a favorite line?
Cohen (“Jimmy”): There’s a part early in the show when I’m being lectured by my father, Peder, and over and over again I just push back by saying, “that is a factually incorrect statement.” It’s ridiculous. I really enjoy that.
Thomas (“Alicia”): We haven’t worked it yet, but in the last scene of the show, my character just kind of falls apart. I guess you could say I’m excited to freak out onstage.
Conary (“Elle”): There’s a scene where my character comes in to help Maddie’s character, who my character is best friends with, and I guess I do tae kwon do onstage? Without giving too much away, I definitely am ready for a fight.
Lynch: And do you have a favorite thing about Playfest so far? Something you’re excited about in the future of the production?
Jimmy Jackson (“Peder”): I love the originality. All of these ideas, and the fact that they’re student-written, too, are what made me want to audition.
Thomas (“Alicia”): This is my second Playfest experience, and it’s just so cool. Everyone coming together to put up six shows in the span of three weeks? That’s just crazy. There’s so many moving parts, and so many new people, and that’s just so great to me.
Cohen (“Jimmy”): I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how tight of a ship that’s been run, and how supportive the environment is. It’s a pleasure getting to know this cast, as well as the director and stage manager - everyone that’s involved.
Lynch: Are there any challenges you’re feeling pressed by throughout the rehearsal process?
Parra (“Angelo”): The time crunch for Playfest is always crazy.
Cohen (“Jimmy”): You don’t fully realize it going in.
Thomas (“Alicia”): I’ve done productions with the V&PA Dept. in past semesters, and I’ve been in situations where shows have gone up in three weeks’ time. It’s doable, just a lot more stressful. It’s part of the magic of Playfest!
Lynch: Do any of your characters feel close to home to you, personally? Or perhaps the opposite, that they’re very different from who you are?
de Araujo (“Kathryn”): I’m Jimmy’s mom, and she reminds me a lot of my own mom. I’m trying to channel the relationship I have with her and I’m trying to strike that rapport with Jimmy.
Thomas (“Alicia”): I find Alicia crazy relatable. She’s a person who is constantly pushing people away, and doesn’t know how to ask for help even when she needs it. It’s definitely something I’ve experienced in my life.
Cohen (“Jimmy”): To me, Jimmy is like a thought experiment gone wrong. I’m someone who has a lot of anxiety, and Jimmy’s character is the answer to the question of what it would be like to have a perfect memory on top of all of that. You find out what that would do to a person when you watch this show.
Bali (“Meredith”): I agree with a lot of Meredith’s decisions for her Alicia, who’s her best friend in the play. I feel like I’d be doing the exact same thing if I were in her shoes.
Jackson (“Peder”): I think I understand Peder’s frustration with Jimmy. My brother has Asperger’s syndrome, kind of like what Jimmy’s got going on, but not totally the same. I see a lot of my own father in Peder - their frustration is expressed in really similar ways. And I have my own frustrations, too, that I can tap into.
Conary (“Elle”): Elle definitely uses humor as a coping mechanism when things get difficult. I find myself doing that a lot, so I want to make sure I give her a lot more depth, making sure she’s not just the dumb, goofy friend and has some reasoning behind the way she is.
Lynch: Finally, if you could think of one word to describe your character, what would it be?
Thomas (“Alicia”): F*ck!
Parra ("Angelo"): Coins!
Bali (“Meredith”): Mom.
de Araujo (“Kathryn”): Well, that was gonna be my word.
Jackson (“Peder”): Stubborn, I suppose.
Cohen (“Jimmy”): Uh…computer?
Poor Connection, written by Brett Iarrobino and directed by Lyndsey Hawkes, opens on Friday, November 1st, at 7:30 pm in the Little Center Michelson Theatre.
CAST INTERVIEW: NOTHING OUT OF THE EXTRA ORDINARY
As we approach the opening night of Playfest, we thought our audiences might want to hear directly from the talented folks bringing these scripts to life in just a few short weeks. Playfest producer and CUPS Co-President Brett Iarrobino sat down with the wonderful cast of Maria Connors' Nothing Out of the Extra Ordinary to learn more about their absurd comedy of stubborn ghosts, dead pets, and failed relationships. Read on to see what they had to share!
Brett Iarrobino: Describe the premise of this show. What should audiences know to expect?
Maggie Barron (“Sam”): This show is about two women who have broken up and one of them is attempting to move out. The other comes back and learns that Sam hasn’t moved out yet, but instead seems to have summoned the ghost of their dead cat, forcing them to navigate those shenanigans and ultimately discover some hard truths about their relationship.
Aisling Lynch (“Colleen”): So…a spook-tacular evening!
Mollie McDonald (“The Ghost”): Definitely, nothing is as it seems.
Will Lerberg (“Oliver”): I think it’s important to note that the audience will be able to relate to every character they see onstage in one way or another, as well.
Iarrobino: Are there any aspects of the play that particularly resonate with anyone?
Barron (“Sam”): Deflecting with humor.
Alexis Restum (“Madame Zelda”): Not understanding that you need to let things go. Even when it’s right in front of you, literally manifested in a ghost, who’s very rude, still having a lot of trouble letting things go, and letting people go.
Hazel Odell (“Penny”): Or when you think you know what’s going on, and putting on a face of “everything’s fine! We’re solving this breakup, or whatever!” when there’s just a lot that you’re not digging into.
Restum (“Zelda”): Denial, I think, is a huge part of this show. I find every one of these characters, with the exception of the Ghost, potentially experiences denial at some point.
Iarrobino: Is there a character anyone’s portraying who might be a little “extra ordinary”? What’s it like stepping into that role?
Restum (“Zelda”): It’s definitely fun playing a 52-year-old woman who probably doesn’t care what anyone else thinks, but at the same time, cares deeply about being taken seriously as a spiritualist. A fun part of that is exploring how she interacts with other people, how she receives their impressions of her. She has all these big gestures and weird rituals, all of it being reflective of the fact that she wants people to think she’s legit.
McDonald (“The Ghost”): I’m not human, or I guess I was - although I could be a cat, we aren’t sure. It’s a hard role to play, because the Ghost really has nothing specific - age, personality - I’m really just a ghost, and that’s it. But it’s fun to walk around and think I’m larger than life.
Iarrobino: Is there anything interesting that you’ve discovered about this show since starting the rehearsal process?
Odell (“Penny”): Something I didn’t really start to understand until we were on our feet is how complicated Penny’s relationship and position is between her two best friends, who just broke. They’ve been friends for a really long time, and she’s got a going on, what with wanting the best for them but also clearly taking a side in a lot of arguments and still caring about both of them. She switches attitudes frequently to keep up with these crazy gals.
Restum (“Zelda”): Once we first ran the third act, I realized that for the majority of the play, they have this ghost problem. But they have the ghost right in front of them, and never confront the problem head on.
Iarrobino: What are the themes and ideas that this play explores? What’s trying to be said or resolved?
McDonald (“The Ghost”): Navigating how to let things go. Appreciating them and cherishing them as a part of you, for sure, but still being able to move on and go forth.
Lynch (“Colleen”): Definitely moving on. I mean, they’re breaking up, and one of them is actually moving, and the break-up is induced by the move. It’s kind of literal in that way.
Lerberg (“Oliver”): It’s about doing what you know deep down is the right thing to do, even if you don’t want to believe that it is. And doing that thing doesn’t necessarily mean things are over and done with forever, but trusting that better things will come of it, that in the end, another door will open, leading to something better than what you might have left behind.
Barron (“Sam”): Without giving too much away, I think the ending of the play is super satisfactory, because it’s not how you might expect it to end, but realistic and wholesome nonetheless.
Odell (“Penny”): And I think the satisfaction comes from the characters being more real about their emotions and what’s underneath. There’s an argument to be made about transparency being worthwhile.
Iarrobino: Speaking of the end: in one word, how do you think your audiences will feel when the lights come up at the end of this show?
Lynch (“Colleen”): Weepy.
McDonald (“The Ghost”): Empowered.
Barron (“Sam”): Reflective.
Odell (“Penny”): Fuzzy.
Lerberg (“Olive”): Good. I know that’s vague, but I stand by it.
Restum (“Zelda”): Mine’s even more vague: Better.
Nothing Out of the Extra Ordinary, written by Maria Connors and directed by Samson Martin, opens on Tuesday, October 29th, at 7:30 pm in the Little Center Michelson Theatre.