By: Hannah Bonanduci
You may have noticed recently around campus a takeover of posters for the upcoming theater production “The Illusion.” It may seem like another generic poster showcasing a play you’re not planning on attending, but both the poster and the show are worthy of a second look. Eastern’s new theater director, Dr. Valerie Flower, and a few students involved in the show gave an inside look into the upcoming production.
“So the story is The Illusion, a play based on a play from the 1700s in France,” Dr. Flower said. “It follows the story of a father who is in search of his long-lost son who ran off with all the money. He goes to the cave of the sorcerer Alcandre to see if she can conjure up any clues, and she brings up three visions that are three different scenes showing what he has been doing over the past 15 years.”
Senior Anna Davis, who has been helping put the production together, shared some of the exciting features of the play.
“This show has many elements that I’ve never worked with before, such as fight choreography,” Davis said. “We’re also using the McInnis stage in ways we never have before, so adapting from using the stage for virtual productions to something totally new has also been a big shift.”
“Our set design is very simple, a cave with big features hanging from the ceiling and the floor with a large backdrop,” she continued. “We’ve been using the elements of the design in our promotion. Even our main poster is very similar to the backdrop you’ll see on the stage.”
The production has been in the works in the midst of the department adjusting as Dr. Flower takes over as the new director. However, the piece still has a lot of thought put into it.
“I started two weeks before school started, so I had to move very quickly to make a choice. I wanted it to be a story that could center around a theme that was important to the college as a whole and to our own examination of what faith and love mean. It’s also a very challenging piece technically and theatrically, so it was a very great piece for our actors to work with.”
The show has a lot of direction and involvement from the students, with audio cues, entrances, movements and even music compositions created by the students. Sophomore Richie Izzo plays the main antagonist in the piece but is also composing the show’s music.
“Some trials have time management, between memorizing lines, composing and school work,” Izzo said. “Some victories have been being able to work with so many talented people in putting together a show. I am extremely excited that I am able to play more than one character for this show as characters that are unlike anything I have played before.”
Senior Caitlin Casey, who will be playing Elicia, also gave a glimpse behind the scenes.
“When I heard about this production I was very excited to try out, especially because I know Dr. Flower,” Casey said. “I really enjoy working with her, especially because she’s really big on us being able to balance theater and our college lives.”
“I think the audience will gain a lot of interesting perspectives on what it is to love, how love can be really good but also become really bad when it is misapplied,” she continued. “Also, the show is funny and the actors are all funny as well.”
The show will run on the McInnis stage from Nov. 9 to Nov. 12. General admission is $10, but Eastern students only have to pay $5.
“Come see the show!” Casey said. “We hate performing to a dead audience. There are some places that they don’t want you to interact with the show, but we hope that the audience will interact with us. Your energy gives us energy. I hope the audience is able to put away any distractions, fears, worries etc. for an hour and a half and just enjoy the show.”