Arts and Entertainment Previews

Theatre Wesleyan kicks off fall 2019 with 2 shows in rep

With Theatre Wesleyan doing their fall shows simultaneously for the first time in a while, freshman theatre major Rebeka Chavez and several other freshmen theatre majors stepped up to the challenge.

Chavez whose main role is assistant stage manager for “Turandotte: Princess of China” is looking forward to learning the ropes of college shows.

“I’ve done many shows before, but this is my first college show,” Chavez said. “It’s pretty different, but luckily I’m the assistant stage manager, so I don’t have a huge amount of roles. The only hard part is I have three roles (two outside of stage managing). It’s a lot, but I’m glad that I’m going full force into it.”

According to, “Turandotte”, which opens Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m., tells the story of Turandotte, an icy-hearted princess, who issues a challenge of deadly riddles for her hand in marriage and Calaf, a prince, that aims to answer her challenge. It will also be performed on Oct. 25, 31 and Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 27.

Theatre Wesleyan’s other show “Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play” will open Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. “Mr. Burns” tells the story of how entertainment has evolved from the pop-culture scraps that remained after the collapse of modern civilianization, according to The show will also play on Oct. 26, 30 and Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and at 2 p.m. Nov. 3.

Chavez said she looks forward to getting the experience of two shows sharing the stage.

“I think it’s good for the experience and I’ve never worked with two shows. It’s kind of a cool variation to be a part of one show, but also get to see a show. It’s a good experience.”

Dr. Connie Whitt-Lambert, a professor of theater and director of “Turandotte”, said the idea of running repertory shows to give students more experience came up at one of the theatre department meetings in spring 2018.

“Running in rep gives students the opportunity as actors, designers, managers and technicians to work within this particular schedule style,” Whitt-Lambert wrote in an email. “Over the course of a student’s four years in our Program, we like to provide a variety of experiences (including genre & style).  Repertory scheduling is one of those valuable experiences.”

In order for the repertory shows to work, Whitt-Lambert said she’s had to work closely with Dr. Bryan Stevenson who is directing “Mr. Burns.”

“Since we’re running in rep, the directors of both shows have to work closely together to schedule rehearsal space and all our Theatre Wesleyan resources,” Whitt-Lambert wrote. “Those resources include not only our students, but also the costume shop, scene shop, rehearsal spaces, scheduling and budget.  Bryan Stevenson, who is directing the other rep show, “Mr. Burns, a post electric play,” and I worked closely together to fully utilize our resources, plan the schedule and conduct auditions.”

Senior theatre major Jasmine Mesre, who plays Princess Turandotte in “Turandotte”, said that the biggest challenge of doing two shows is keeping everything organized.

“I think it’s the fact that we have double the work, double the costumes, and we’re only able to rehearse in one space so we have to switch back and forth,” Mesre said. “I think if everyone stays organized and keeps up to date calendars and things like that it will be fine.”

Mesre also said that students are only apart of the cast and crew of one of the shows unless they’re in a class working on something which has both pros and cons.

“I like that there was one particular show that I liked more, and so I definitely prepared more for that,” Mesre said. “The only bad thing I would say about it is you have less opportunity to act by only being able to do three out of our four shows, though that’s not a bad thing necessarily.”

Mesre said “Mr. Burns” is more dark humor while “Turandotte” is commedia mixed with a fairy tale that teaches a lesson.

“I just think the audience will really enjoy [‘Turandotte’], because it is funny,” Mesre said. “If anyone know anything about commedia, they’ll understand that there’s masks in the show. Not everyone, but most people wear masks in the show so that’s something that makes it different from the ordinary theatrical experience.”

Theatre Wesleyan will perform “Turandotte” and “Mr. Burns” in rep. Graphic contributed by Jacob Sanchez

Original Post: (Page 11)

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