Thursday 18th January 2018,
The Transcript

One production, two ‘unique’ experiences for cast and audience

By Jane Suttmeier
Photo Editor

All secrets will be revealed as the cast of “My Secrets on Beauty,” directed by Ed Kahn of the department of theatre and dance, prepares to premiere the production April 5.

The “devised” theater performance is going to be different than most OWU productions, according to senior Claire Hackett, a member of the cast.
“The writing process is through improvisation, not a traditional playwriting context,” she said.

Senior Andrea Kraus said she has performed in shows like “My Secrets on Beauty” before, but not like this.

“It’s totally different than most of the shows I’ve done at OWU,” she said. “I’ve always been a huge fan of devised theatre. It’s what I grew up doing at home. I love creating my own work and (“Secrets”) has allowed me to learn this new process, which was something I know I enjoy while being something entirely new.”

Freshman Caroline Williams said the cast has been working on the show since the beginning of the spring semester.

“We were cast as an ensemble,” she said. “Based on ideas from the Ovid’s Pygmalion, we created the script together and eventually cast ourselves within it.”

The cast is split into two groups, A and B, who will each be performing on different nights—A on April 5 and 13, and B on April 6, 12 and 13—to create a new experience for the audience in every show.

Williams said the whole cast will be in both groups, but will be playing different roles in each.

“Both shows have a similar plot line, but there are some differences based on how people interpreted their roles,” she said.

According to the Facebook event page, the play draws from the myth of a sculptor named Pygmalion who falls in love with a statute he created, which later comes to life.

The cast, composed of 19 students, has worked collectively to bring the piece to life, Williams said. The ensemble has “worked together on writing, lights, props, publicity, scenic design and other crew jobs to create a beautiful show.”

“Everyone has worked together through-out the entire process,” she said. “We were all a part of the writing, and are now all a part of the acting and crew work. I feel so honored to be a part of it, and love every member of our truly beautiful ensemble.”

Senior April Warner said the process derives wholly from group participation.

“I think a huge thing is how much focus we put into connecting with each other before the show,” she said. “We have to get ourselves in a particular mindset, bring ourselves up to certain energy, be able to sense/connect with each other and remember to not get used to what we’re doing.”

Hackett said this will make the show a “unique” experience for the audience.
Kraus said the cast and director Kahn are using various techniques to directly communicate ideas relevant to today’s world.

Kraus said these themes include, “objectification, beauty, gender, sexuality, domestic violence, community, power and expectations.”

“The messages we want to send to the audience can be found in our own society as well as in Ovid’s Pygmalion,” she said.

Kraus also said “Secrets” will have something different to offer to the department of theatre and dance.

“Each night I can guarantee something still will be unique and new,” she said.
Williams said the cast is not looking to answer the question of what beauty really means.

“We want our audience to ask their own questions and examine what beauty means to them,” she said. “But if I were to give my own little ‘secret on beauty’—it would be that we all deserve to see ourselves as its definition.”

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