By Clarissa Park
A lone student casually strolls onstage. He sings to himself—unaware of the eyes upon him. He nearly chokes on his words when he turns around. He calls for assistance and another group of individuals enter. They cower— horrified —behind a table. Soon they are joined by a trio of girls with their hair half done, who squeal and amass with the others. While whispering amongst themselves, they agree that “The Play Must Go On”. The group disperses into a comedic adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, officially beginning Rogers State University’s “Original Recipe”.
Started in 2005, Student Directed Plays have been bringing fresh creativity to the Claremore community. Enter Mr. David Blakely- the Director of RSU’s Theatre Program. Since his entrance onto the theatre scene he has gone on to write and direct over one dozen plays. Blakely has been bringing quality theatre work to RSU since 2005.
From the moment when the lights dimmed to the final uproarious applause, the plays of “Original Recipe” kept the audience enthralled. After “The Play Must Go On” cast a comedic spin on Shakespeare, Blakely’s “Under Shirt” kept the audience giggling between the two perspectives of a shopping experience and bisexuality. It featured RSU student Yamile Legarreta and Greg Thompson as a father/daughter duo shopping to update his “godawful style”.
Third on the bill was “Geoffrey Goes to School”, which showed us that even monsters have human urges. Student Pan Miller channeled Peter Boyle from Young Frankenstein—a growling, intelligent, and impulsive beast.
“The Next Blue Moon” taught theatre attendees about “Martin ‘dadgum’ VanBuren”, loving, and the power of expression through song. A Glee-esque production, the audience burst into laughter when Ma, played by Cheryl Malek, informed her love struck son Jimmy to not “think with his happiness”.
Finally, RSU’s own Mary M. Mackie questioned the boundaries of reality and sanity with her appropriately titled play “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This”. Director Colter Sharon brought to life the ethereal imagery provoked by Stevie Long’s character Audrey’s fantastic visions.
Starting the 2011-2012 theatre season with the premiere of such intelligent and original productions, the anticipation for what is to follow is immense. Already, October’s production of “Queerly Educated” is sparking up controversy and excitement on campus. Written by former student S. Patrick Mills, it consists of 16 monologues each describing the experiences of being gay in the Tulsa-Claremore area.
Following that on November 3, is Bill Cain’s “Equivocation”— a play about Shakespeare’s commissioning by the King to write about the infamous Gunpowder Plot. The play’s run ends on November 5, which is Guy Fawkes Day.
Another theatre event to look forward to is the readings of Lanford Wilson’s “Talley Trilogy” from March 8-10. It is described by the theatre program on their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/RSUTheatre) as a play that shows “in spite of a world full of pain, a deep faith in mankind”.
At the end of the season is a classic—“The Odd Couple” by Neil Simon. Relatable to by RSU student and audience member alike, it is the hilarious story of two roommates who are complete opposites of each other. Having earned Tony awards in categories like Best Actor (Play) and Best Author (Play), it promises to be the cherry on top of the sundae that is the RSU Theatre season.