It’s the first big show of the Theatre Department’s season and where have all the theatre majors gone? The American College Theater Festival has seduced them to travel to Keene State in New Hampshire to participate in a weekend of competition. The festival is a contributing factor in the Theatre Department’s decision to do a staged reading as opposed to a full production of Arthur Miller’s “A View from the Bridge.”
The production is co-directed by Associate Professors of Theatre Tom Power and William Steele. Set on the Brooklyn waterfront, the plot examines one man’s dysfunctional affection for his niece and his eventual fall because of it.
A staged reading is a simplified version of a full production, requiring no set and minimum costuming in tones of gray. Actors aren’t required to memorize lines and will be provided with metal stands to hold scripts.
“The rehearsal schedule is complicated by other commitments,” said Power. The staged reading allows for rehearsal time to be cut from six weeks to 10 days and also cuts production costs but does not reduce ticket prices. Power admits that he’d rather see a full-blown production, but the play’s complexity, multiple settings, and time constraints due to the festival made it impossible. “It’s a classic piece of theater that might not be done otherwise,” said Power. “We’re presenting an opportunity to see a special piece of literature.”
The Theatre Department has done staged readings in the past and plans to commit themselves to one staged reading a year. “It’s difficult to mount a production this time of year,” said Power.
“A View from the Bridge” will run on the Main Stage in Russell Hall from Feb. 7 to Feb. 9. Tickets are $10 for the general public, $5 for students, and can be obtained by calling the Box Office at 780-5151.
Christy McKinnon can be contacted at [email protected]