Play continues despite recent drama

By Alicia Finch

Despite the recent drama in the UA Theatre Program, an entirely student-run program will be taking the stage for one last production of the semester on Thursday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. at Sandefur Theatre in Guzzetta Hall.

The production “PlayTime” was produced by the university’s Theatre Guild organization which includes theater majors and non-majors.

“PlayTime” explores the lives of five contemporary characters and tells the story of a stockbroker who agrees to divulge “inside information” to an enormously successful Wall Street trader.DSCI0737

The characters in the performance are set in New York City, 1985. The cast includes Kyle Lorek, Anthony Crislip, Tessa Gaffney, Corrynne Shuler and Lauren Fowkes.

The Theatre Guild is a self-sustained program. The students have a source they receive money from, but have yet to use any of it this year. Fundraisers and the theater department help the guild with providing props and raising money for productions. The guild has their own props they use as well as building and painting whatever is needed at the time of a production.

“This program means everything to me,”  theater and early childhood education major Tessa Gaffney said. “I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life before Theatre Guild. I was about to drop out of college, I was failing and I started Theatre Guild. Without the department, I would have dropped out.”

Director Katie O’Connor handpicked the cast herself. On a time crunch with work and classes, the guild had a little less than four weeks to put the production together. Normally a production would take five weeks. The cast rehearsed five times a week from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and weekends.

“The classes teach us and we run things how a professional theater would. We have high standards as actors and as directors. This program means a lot to me,” O’Connor said.

The Theatre Guild is more to this group of students than a way to get a credit or build up the resume. Most actors aren’t theater majors; some aren’t even minors.

“They just simply have a passion for it,” O’Connor said.

O’Connor credits Professor Jim Slowiak for teaching the students in the program to focus, have fun and overall give a good performance. The students for this performance were done using scripts by the second week of rehearsal.


“It’s actually easier to learn lines this way, and this is the way Slowiak taught us,” O’Connor said.

“PlayTime” is different than anything else the students have done this year to try to catch their audience by surprise. The play is filled with obscure characters, singing, choreographed dance numbers and pleasant jokes. The stage is set so that students don’t have to move the scenes around. The students who perform in productions also receive a credit, but the passion for wanting to do it is a higher credit, O’Connor said.

“I can’t wait. I am so excited for this show,” stage manager Amanda Miller said. “I have been on back-to-back shows since this time last year. Theater is just magical.”