Theater preview: students prepare for show

Things are going well for the SVSU theatre department as they prepare for their upcoming show, “The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds”.

The show, which was written by Paul Zindel, follows a dysfunctional family. The play is being directed by Associate Professor of Theatre Peggy Mead-Finzio.

“The play is about a dysfunctional family in the 1970’s; a mother, two daughters, and a live-in renter that is very old,” she said. “The story revolves around the failures of the mother and her dealing with the highs and lows within the family dynamic.”

The cast has dealt with a variety of struggles while on set, but Finzio thinks they’ll still be ready on time.

“There are challenges for each actor; one is playing a 14-year-old, one is playing an 18-year-old, one is playing a 37-year-old, and one is playing a woman described by the playwright as ‘perhaps a century old,’” she said. “For each of them, their own life experiences are the jumping off points in creating the characters. In the Rehearsal room, we work together to find ways to portray the things that are outside of each of their life experiences and push them outside their comfort zones.”

The cast has been working to make the experience more comfortable.

“We are working with Assistant Professor Tommy Wedge on intimacy training and stage combat to help the actors feel comfortable with the personal interactions they have together and for actor safety,” Mead-Finzio said. “His work with us has really helped the actors dive into their characters and the character interactions in a deeper way.”

Freshman theatre major Paige Turk said she went into the audition without any expectations.

“I was shocked when the cast list came out,” she said. “I didn’t go into my audition with any expectations, let alone expecting to get a lead role in my first show at SVSU. I am extremely excited and honored to be portraying Tillie in the upcoming show.”

Finzio thinks she has a great team and isn’t worried about them being prepared on time.

“There is a great team of designers, faculty, staff, and students that are helping to create the world the characters live in. I appreciate the collaborative spirit we have as a team to bring this story to the stage,” she said. “I whole heartedly think the cast will be ready in time. They are consistently working outside of rehearsal to be ready to take the next steps in development for the production. While in rehearsal, they are taking risks and trying new things to work on their character development.”

The show is expected to open to viewers on Nov. 16 and run a total of five performances through Nov. 20 in the Malcolm Field Theater.

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