Theatre department previews semester

The SVSU theatre department has a variety of plays selected for the upcoming year.

According to David Rzeszutek, the theatre department chair, this year’s plays were chosen to challenge both the actors and the designers.

“Each of the plays has its own challenges,” he said. “‘Proof’ demands a realistic truth from the actors and designers, and our annual holiday show showcases various talents, which can range from singing to dancing to puppetry. ‘Roustabout’ will create an interactive energy with the audience, and ‘Macbeth’ will delve into heightened language, stage combat and some really great use of makeup techniques.”

Students involved in the shows will have the chance to learn and develop their skills.

“Every show requires the team to work together and collaborate,” Rzeszutek said. “These shows reinforce … how to multitask, communicate, be self-disciplined and believe in themselves. The shows challenge (students) both in their craft and as people.”

Students also have the chance to participate in student-directed plays.

“The Studio XP shows are always very exciting because these are often the largest show that the student director or designer has worked on in their position,” Rzeszutek said. “It’s great to see the students take such ownership … and see how much they learn as they work together.”

Tommy Wedge, a theatre professor, is also excited about the Studio XP shows. One such show is “Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight,” directed by student Kayley Jozefiak.

“Not that people’s work is defined by their gender, but we have a young female student who is showcasing a female playwright with a female lead,” Wedge said. “I think that’s really important for representation because, for so long, theatre history has been dominated by white men. So, giving opportunities for other talent
pools … is really important.”

The other Studio XP show, “Unraveling Magicians,” is a great opportunity because it is both written and directed by student Ryan Sequin.

Wedge is most excited for “Macbeth,” which he is directing.

“The concept that I’m using with it is gender blind casting,” he said. “It’s a chance to let students showcase stage combat technique and learning in class, and to really let that talent be the determining factor (rather than) how well they fit into a certain gender role.”

According to Wedge, students learn to make direct connections in class, but there’s more to theatre than classwork.

“There’s something you can’t teach in classes when it comes to being in front of a live audience, that connection,” he said. “I talk about how theatre is about the in-between, it’s about the space between the audience and the actors, and that’s something that you can’t experience until you’ve actually done it.”

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