Rob Sherron, Contributing Writer
Last fall, directors Michael Jarvis, Alex Trevino and Madeleine Robb dazzled UD with a wonderful series of senior studios. This semester, seniors Kate Chiappe, Samantha Eberle and Amanda Werley will complete the set with three very interesting, very different plays.
Chiappe is directing I’m Dreaming, But Am I? by Nobel laureate Luigi Pirandello, in which the line between reality and dream becomes blurred.
“It’s a cruel and haunting dream play about a Young Lady who falls out of love, and strings the Man along to avoid telling him the truth,” said Chiappe, “I love these two characters’ relationship and how sometimes our guilt prevents us from telling the truth. This young lady is so haunted by her fear of the man knowing she has lost her affection for him, that her guilt makes her have a dream that feels so real it’s hard to know if she really was dreaming!
“What excites me most about this production and my cast is that everything I have ever seen in my head is coming true. I have a vivid imagination and to see what I want come alive onstage feels unreal. I have an amazing team and cast who have gone above and beyond to make this show absolutely stunning!”
On a different note, Eberle will present Thornton Wilder’s Someone from Assisi portrays a day in the lives of Sts. Francis and Clare. She describes it as “an intimate, warm-hearted morality play in which a crazy, homeless woman visits the convent of San Damiano’s looking for peace and quiet on the same day that an aged Father Francis does the same. The afternoon gets complicated when Francis, well on his way to becoming a saint, learns that he had a passionate affair with this woman long ago, before his conversion. He must then decide whether to continue to run from his past or to share Christ’s love with a suffering human being.”
“Here, the saints are not merely a reflective paragraph in some ‘Saint of the Day’ book,” said Eberle. “Instead, they are human. They suffer from physical ailments, they struggle against temptations just like we do, and yet they still have something to teach us about a truer, deeper Christian love put into action. And for once we get to reflect on the fact that making the holy decisions was not necessarily always easy for them, just because they are saints …The joy and purity and strength of these two revered people jumps off the page, and yet so too does the vulnerability that comes with being human.”
Finally, Amanda Werley is presenting The Ugly Duckling by A. A. Milne (yes, that Milne – Christopher Robin’s father was a dramatist too!). As the title suggests, it is a tale of inner beauty.
“The Ugly Duckling is a charming and romantic fairy tale about a young princess who grew up being told she was ugly,” said Werley, “In the course of the play her parents plot a hoax to trick a young prince into marrying her. While the new prince is being tricked off stage, the princess stumbles upon a young man whom she falls immediately in love with!”
Werley said she is excited not simply because of her interest in children’s theatre, but because she believes that the humor of A. A. Milne is something which the UD community will particularly enjoy.
The studios run from May 2-4, so make sure to reserve your seat online or at the table in Haggar!