SVSU’s theatre department currently has three productions in the works for the Winter 2019 semester.
Opening on Feb. 20 is “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” a play by Simon Stephens based on a young adult novel of the same name by Mark Haddon.
The play tells the story of a 15-yearold boy named Christopher who, while it is never explicitly stated, is implied to be living with some form of autism or Asperger’s.
He finds his neighbor’s dog dead in their yard and takes it upon himself to figure out who killed the dog.
During the investigation, Christopher uncovers an even bigger mystery, which leads him away from his neighborhood and ultimately out of his comfort zone.
Through elements of staging, choreography, lighting and projection, the audience will get a glimpse into the workings of Christopher’s mind as he goes on this journey.
Communication and theatre education freshman Jared Kaufman will be playing the role of Christopher.
“I’m really looking forward to portraying such an important character,” Kaufman said. “I want to be able to capture him in a way that is accurate and not offensive or blowing anything out of proportion.”
Assistant professor of theatre Tommy Wedge selected and is directing this production. He expressed a similar commitment to presenting Christopher and his story in an authentic and genuine manner.
“This play spoke to me on a number of levels, and I was really drawn to the idea of helping bring that story to an audience,” Wedge said.
He felt a personal connection to the story due to the fact that his sister and his children, Ethan and Jacob, are all on the spectrum.
Additionally, the assistant director of the show is on the spectrum herself. Because of this, she is able to offer first-hand insight to what it is like to live with an autism spectrum disorder.
“Essentially, the show is trying to demystify this large swathe of our communities to help integrate them into our lives a little more closely,” Wedge said. “Come and be prepared to laugh, be prepared to cry – and hopefully have your eyes opened just a little bit wider to the array of experiences around you.”
On March 29 in the Black Box Studio Theatre, “The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?” will premiere. This show is suited for audiences age 17 and up and will be directed by theatre student Joe Green.
Auditions for the production begin on Jan. 23.
To finish the semester, theatre department chair Richard Roberts will be directing “9 to 5: The Musical” written by Patricia Resnick, with lyrics and music by Dolly Parton.
The show, opening on April 10, is about an office building led by an incredibly sexist boss.
It centers around three women of very different backgrounds and who, against all odds, join together to kidnap their boss and run the office themselves.
Theatre junior Jessica Hurley is playing one of the lead characters, Violet Newstead.
Newstead is a widowed mother of a teenage son and essentially runs the office without getting any credit. As the women in the office join together to advocate for equal rights, the show becomes a positive and uplifting testament to the fact that we are all capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for.
“The message of the show is that you can achieve anything you put your mind to,” Hurley said. “If you don’t like something in your life, change it.”
For further information on any of these productions, as well as ticket pricing and show schedules, visit the theatre department’s page on SVSU’s website.
Reported from Micali Gadola, Vangaurd Reporter
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