By Kasey Seifried
William Paterson’s University Theatre will close the semester with three free shows: a comedy improv show on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. in Hobart Hall’ s Martini Room, Acting II Scenes on Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. in the Hunziker Black Box Theatre, and a sketch comedy show on Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. in the Martini Room.
The Theatre will also host stand-up shows off campus on Dec. 3 and Dec. 10 at 5 p.m. at the Gotham Comedy Club at 208 West 23rd St. between 7th and 8th avenues in Manhattan. Reservations can be made by calling (212) 367-9000.
Information about auditions for the Theatre’ s spring productions is available by contacting Communication Professor Dr. Elizabeth Stroppel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University Theatre is coming off last month’s production of “Anna in the Tropics” at the Black Box. The play, which provides a glimpse into a factory where a lector reads a Russian romance novel to cigar-rolling immigrants, is a turbulent story of love, hate, guilt, deceit and human intimacy.
“It’s a great time to just be on stage and use raw human emotion and interaction,” said John Hardgrove, who played the show’ s antagonist, CheChe, during the first half of the show’ s run. “It’ s what really drives the story forward and there is so much resemblance in ‘ Anna’ to how we all act in reality.”
The show takes an unanticipated turn when CheChe sexually assaults Santiago’s youngest daughter, Marela. During a brief post-performance discussion, cast member Elwin Cuevas discussed the shocking scene.
“Even though the assault was so obvious, in the play it was never mentioned,” Cuevas said. “Things like this happen on this campus and as students we see them and they go unreported. I think as students at this university, especially right now, it’ s incumbent on all of us that we take it upon the institution, take it upon the administrators, take it upon the president. Please don’t be silent about it. We need to take a moment and be aware of what’s right.”
Ryan Decesare, who played CheChe during the second half of the show’s run, encouraged students to audition for future productions.
“It’s something that you can bring a part of yourself into and put it out there, a part that you wouldn’ t normally show, but you’re doing it in such a way that everyone is on the same level as you,” he said. “It’s kind of therapeutic for everybody involved. Now all of a sudden I’m CheChe, and I don’ t have to worry about Ryan’ s problems. I have to worry about CheChe’s problems. I would definitely recommend auditioning. I learned a lot.”