Theatre students perform drama-comedy ‘Emilie’

SVSU students performed “Emilie,” a drama-comedy, Nov. 22 and 23.Vanguard Photo | Brooke Elward

The theatre department presented the play “Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight” in the Black Box Theatre on Nov. 22 and 23.

The drama-comedy followed the life of French philosopher Emilie du Chatelet as she relives her life as a woman in the 18th century French aristocracy.

Renowned historical figures such as Voltaire, played by theatre education freshman Scott Lamont, added a level of historical value to the portrayal of 18th century France.

Lamont said he felt that accurately portraying the setting of the play was a challenge.

“The most challenging aspect was creating this 1800s world of Emilie and acting as part of that world,” Lamont said.

The small cast of five students prepared for their production for a little over a month. For Lamont, theatre is more than putting a show together to entertain and move audiences.

“Theatre has been such a huge part of my life, and continuing that is very important to me,” he said. “Theatre teaches people so many amazing things, and that’s why I love it.”

For theatre sophomore Holly Grief, the production goes far back and has had a lasting impact on her life. Grief played the leading role of Emilie.

“I was in my first production when I was in fifth grade, and opening night I knew that it was what I wanted to do with my life,” she said. “I wanted to do this show because it shows how passionate a woman at this time was about one equation, and she will do anything it takes to prove she’s right.”

Grief said one of her favorite parts of the production was getting to portray the life of such a powerful woman who is not known to many. She said the most challenging aspect of the production was making her character become “alive” for audiences to experience.

Theatre senior Richelle Arguello played a range of characters throughout the performance. She said this was challenging at times. Arguello said the age and personality differences in each character she played was challenging at times.

Arguello also commented on the performance space for a black box production, saying that she really enjoyed performing in such an “intimate” space.

Black box productions usually hold fewer than 100 audience members.

Theatre is an art that Arguello truly appreciates and has passion for.

“Theatre is the one thing that has been a constant source of joy and passion for me,” she said. “I have always loved shows that tell an
important story and make the audience think on it. Emilie is one of these shows.”

Music sophomore Halie Kellett attended the production because she wanted to get more involved with theatre, specifically plays rather than musical theatre productions.

“I’m learning something new,” she said. “I think that’s really important to take away from shows that you see, and also to try to empathize with characters and just realize that they’re people too.”

Kellett said that there is a lot people can take away from theatre productions.

“(Take away) doesn’t have to be just knowledge, it can also be a feeling and something to express, so it could be enjoyment, it could be laughter, it could be crying in a genuine way,” she said.

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