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Theatre Department Newsletter

November, 2016

The Maids

By playwright, Jean Genet, translation by Andrew Upton and Benedict Andrews. Its debut is Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. as well as Nov. 11 and 12 at 7:30 p.m. and the 12th at 2 p.m., Located in the Lewis Auditorium. Seating is extremely limited; advanced ticket purchase is highly recommended. The description of the play, “This dark play by Jean Genet features two maids who are sisters, Solange (played by sophomore Sissy Hofaker) and Claire (played by senior Brian Matthews), engaged in sadomasochistic exercises, with each taking a turn in acting the role of “Madame” (played by senior Rebecca Woods) in an exploration of class, power, and domination,” directed by Joe Kemper. This show is recommended for mature audiences only.

Save the Date

The Maids (For mature audiences only)

By playwright, Jean Genet, translation by Andrew Upton and Benedict Andrews

Nov. 10-12 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 12 at 2 p.m.

Lewis Auditorium

Tickets: $10

Senior Conservatory

One Act Plays directed by seniors in the Theatre Department

Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Lewis Auditorium

Tickets: Free

Professor Write-Up

Title: A Look into the Mind of…

Stay tuned for our next edition where we will be giving an exclusive look into the artistic mind our very own Kip Taisey!

Call out for Ad/Sponsorship

Do you have a passion for making dreams come true? Are you interested in the work of Flagler Performing Art Students? Would you like to help better establish the future of this department? Feel free to contact blank on how to help fund these dreams.

Vocal Performance

There are many different forms of musicianship students and faculty are involved in, specifically through the Theatre Department. From choir to vocal lesson to duet musical theatre class. This year is the very first year Flagler College has ever had a chamber choir offered as a class. This choir class is mixed with students of all grade and skill levels, from never having picked up a piece of music to eight-plus years of private instruction. Catch them this fall in the Flagler Room at 7 p.m. on Nov. 21.

Student Write

Here is a student write-up about Brian Matthews regarding his current role as Claire in our second stage production The Maids directed by Joe Kemper. “I am a of letting this exist, my process is immersing myself in music or images - I make playlists, I make things that they would listen to, or create or worship, and through that they reveal themselves to me.,” continuing on > link to full article

Interview with Brian Matthews

How did you feel when you first got the role?

Excited because… I really love the material and I was really intrigued and inspired by the idea of gender/ sex bending this role. This translation really successfully juxtaposes raw emotion and crudeness with the sort of delicacy and poetry. This prospect of being able to work with that material made me stoked for rehearsals — for the process to begin.

What is the process for preparing for rehearsals?

Read the script a few times, sort of trying to figure out who this person is. I’m about to get real existential with you - I just talked to Taylor Anderson, our stage manager, about this; for me, the process of taking on a role is about meeting the character. I don’t feel like I’m creating something, or necessarily becoming something. I am a conduit of letting this exist, my process is immersing myself in music or images - I make playlists, I make things that they would listen to, or create or worship, and through that they reveal themselves to me.

I’m really excited particularly about this role because I feel like I understood Claire and knew her in many ways - right away. So I’m just kind of honored to give her a voice, rather than to create an interpretation of the role.

This is a very intense role, how do you separate yourself from the role? Are you able to?

I’ve been trying to; I’ve discussed it with Becca and Sissy, the two women I am working alongside with. It’s such an emotionally and physically demanding rehearsal process, laying out the shell of what we were going to do, I have been kind of keeping it at arm's length. Claire is such a complex, delicate, character.

Interviewed by Megan Williams with Brian Matthews, Claire, from The Maids.

God of Carnage

This season the Theatre Department has a variety of productions lined up. The first show that kicked off the season was God of Carnage, our fall main stage, that was directed by Andrea McCook. Winner of the 2009 Tony Award, this farce demonstrates the disintegration of the social “masks” we wear, revealing our primitive nature. Exploring the theme of “over” vs “under” involved parenting of children in our society, two couples meet after a confrontation between their sons. Despite attempting to maintain a measure of decorum and civility, the action devolves into chaos and mayhem, revealing the raw truth of our humanity. The cast list included a variety of talent in and out of the department including >link to full article

“Kelsee Russer, who is a junior is playing Veronica probably has the most experience in terms of college-aged theatre, and then after that would be Mykala Bazzell, who is playing Annette. We also have Terrence Christopher Scott who is a freshman coming and playing Alan, which is a very difficult role. I mean all of these roles are complex. And then we have Colin Wood who is not even a Theatre major who has done some theatre in high school and community theatre and a little tiny bit here at Flagler,” excerpt from full interview with director Andrea McCook by Mykala Bazzell.

An Interview with the Director

Interview with director Andrea McCook on why she chose God of Carnage: “It deals with a lot of interesting issues. Well it deals with, first of all, the issue of parenting especially in today’s society as we look at two very different types of parenting styles — the hands on, very involved parent versus the more hands off, let the kids work it out kind of parenting. Also, gender issues, expectations between spouses in terms of child rearing, and also sort of the privilege that we have here in the west compared to other societies where you know we have children that are exposed to horrific living conditions.” Continue talking till cut off > link to landing page here.

Interview

What made you choose to do God of Carnage?

I was looking for a play that was funny, that was actor driven, that was small, and that was contemporary because everything I have been doing lately and the last number of years have been things like The Play, which was 17th century, so dealing with a lot of verse and classic, dealing with big casts or dancing at Luna. We were dealing with dialect or As You Like It, which  again Shakespeare, so I really wanted something small where I could just focus on the acting and the relationships.

What kind of rehearsal process do you prefer? How do you believe a director should go about staging a show?

Something - there’s something’s that are very basic and fundamental — for example, you really want to make sure that when you are going through a text in the early rehearsal process that everybody understands what’s being said. So that's always the first thing. For example, dealing with something like Shakespeare or the Life is a Dream, which are classic and has poetry, it's about dealing with the imagery, the meanings of the lines, trying to cut through the language. With something like this, we did a lot of table work where we were able to get into not just the meaning which was something accessible because it’s a contemporary play, but then starting to get into the layers of the relationships and the complexity of the situations and what’s going on. So I would say that's probably the main thing — making sure that the cast and director are on the same page in terms of the text and understanding the text and how the text needs to flow as we are going through the dialogue. We spent a lot of time even with this play just sitting and reading through it and working on the interactive dynamics, so if something of dialogue just really making sure the cast knew that the lines had to come out, you know, one right after the other whereas in other places there might be a longer monologue you know how to work on that longer arch of the thought. Those are the kinds of things that I like to start with. And then I always like to get things up on their feet and kind of work out sort of a skeleton of the staging and the blocking. My feeling is always then if I can at least get the cast to understand the text, have some staging and then get off book, I can at least put that up on stage. After that has been put together, then we start working in on the nitty gritty details and start fleshing everything out.

What do you want the audiences of God of Carnage to take away from this show?

Well I think that it deals with a lot of interesting issues. Well it deals with, first of all, the issue of parenting especially in today’s society as we look at two very different types of parenting styles — the hands on, very involved parent versus the more hands off, let the kids work it out kind of parenting. Also, gender issues, expectations between spouses in terms of child rearing, and also sort of the privilege that we have here in the West compared to other societies where you know we have children that are exposed to horrific living conditions. And yet here in the West you know we create all this drama and stress over small things whereas in other places in the world it’s life or death situations. So I’ll think one thing that is interesting to understand about this play is in this particular production is that we have a very young cast. Kelsee Russer, who is a junior is playing Veronica probably has the most experience in terms of college-aged theatre, and then after that would be Mykala Bazzell, who is playing Annette. We also have Terrence Christopher Scott who is a freshman coming and playing Alan, which is a very difficult role. I mean all of these roles are complex. And then we have Colin Wood who is not even a Theatre major who has done some theatre in high school and community theatre and a little tiny bit here at Flagler. It's a very young cast, but they are doing an outstanding job dealing with these very complex characters; there are characters that are in their 40s. So for them I think that it's been a bit of a challenge and I think that they have really risen to the challenge in terms of developing who these people are and understanding life situations that they haven’t, as individuals, these actors haven’t encountered yet and yet they are doing a really great job and empathizing these people.

How do you balance the comedic nature of this show with the comedic topics that are sort of underlying it?

Well that’s why I love this kind of a show so much. I’m not a huge fan of comedy…I just like to do things that have a bit more meat and substance to it. I think sometimes you can touch on very difficult issues and materials under the guides of comedies and people are laughing at it, sometimes they don’t have that initial response and it’s only when you come away and start thinking about it that all of a sudden you start to go, “Huh. Wow that’s really a provocative thought. I hadn’t thought of it that way.” It’s kind of like flipping medicine, you know, with a little bit of candy. I don’t find it a challenge — I actually enjoy it quite a bit.

What’s Phyllis Up To?

Former department chair head of the Theatre department spares a few words on what she is up to “I do ‘aquacise’ in the a.m.s and I have seen 4 shows in the last month and am housing the former dean and his wife since the hurricane,” interview by Austin Satinsky.

Since graduating in April of 2013, I have worked as a teaching artist at B'Nai B'Rith Perlman Camp in Lake Como, PA