Theater department conquers once again


Photo courtesy of UVU Department of Theatrical Arts

A play unlike any other done at UVU, She Stoops to Conquer, the theater department’s latest production, will begin performances on December 2.

Written in the late 18th century by Oliver Goldsmith, the play has been categorized as a comedic farce.

The cast is made up of twelve theater majors who have anywhere between ?ve to 16 years of experience underneath their belts.

She Stoops to Conquer has been an especially tricky production to pull off because of the technical aspects the play requires. “All of the characters will be on stage pretty much all the time,” said cast-member Robbie Pierce, referring to the massive set of a countryside manor that has three levels. “We have to make sure the focus is on the action while all the rest of us are staying busy on stage.”

“There’s so much we have to do with directing traf?c,” said cast member Jason Sullivan, “making sure we’re where we need to be, making sure all of the between things happen so that it can all mesh together like it’s suppose to.”

The other challenging aspect of the play is the fact it was written in England in the late 18th century. This is one of the reasons professor and director Christopher Clark was attracted to doing this production.

“We have a lot of focus on Shakespeare and then we jump to Wilde,” Clark, who has been teaching at UVU for over ?ve years, said. “We hardly get anything in between.”

Since the style of the play is not contemporary, the actors had to adjust to putting energy into different aspects of their performances.

“It’s very over-the-top in a lot of ways,” Sullivan said. “It can be really, really draining.”

Another hurdle the cast has had to overcome is the English accents each cast member has had to perfect. But Theatre professor John Graham worked with the cast from day one on creating a unique and authentic accent for each actor.

“Everyone had the opportunity to sit down with him and they built a few different accents for each character,” said cast member Jake Suazo.

Each member of the cast and crew have already dedicated over 80 hours of work on bringing the play to life, and those hours will increase the closer they get to opening night. This does not include outside work the actors have dedicated to memorizing lines and blocking.

For many of these student actors, life in the theater has become a juggling act of school, work, performing and family. When asked what it takes to make those kind of sacri?ces, especially when it came to family, Aubrey Warner said, “[It takes] a very understanding husband.” Warner, along with Suazo, commute from Salt Lake City every day as well.

The cast also alluded to several points of interest in the play, but refused to reveal what they meant by them, citing they didn’t want to reveal any “spoilers.”

“Let’s just say, this is a show where you come with your cell phone on,” said Suazo, “and leave them on during the show.”

When asked why students should come to this play, Trevor Robertson said, “I think this play has a unique angle that the director has taken, with the subject matter is incredibly relevant to modern audiences.” Pierce also jumped in and said, “And it is going to be hilarious.”

She Stoops to Conquer runs Dec. 2-11 at the Noorda Theatre. Tickets are $7 with UVU ID, $9 with other student ID and $11 for non-students and can be purchased at the theater box office.

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