Playstock 2011 full of drama
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Laurinburg, N.C. – The St. Andrews Presbyterian College theatre department proudly presents Playstock 2011 this weekend.
Admission to a single play is $2 but a $10 Playstock Pass can be used for admission to all six of the productions.
“This festival of one act plays is a great showcase for the talents of our students as both actors and directors,” said Mark Mannette, assistant director of theatre. “We have some great shows and a talented group of participants.”
Paden Reilly, one of the stars of Cabaret, will be making his St. Andrews directorial debut with Suppressed Desires, while also acting in The Happy Journey directed by Michael Dennos.
“It has been challenging,” he admitted regarding the scheduling as a director for his three actors, Joe Harris, Park Hoey and Orianna Best. “Suppressed Desires is a play where a woman has gone to the psychologist written when psychology was a relatively new field. She begins psychoanalyzing her husband and starts to get on his nerves.”
Suppressed Desires will be performed in Morris Morgan Theatre Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Alexandra King will also be making her directorial debut with Eugene O’Neill’s The Rope.
“Directing is a lot easier than choreography,” said King, who choreographed the dance sequences in Cabaret in March. “The Rope is a suspenseful and dark play about a family. A brother comes back looking for forgiveness and finds a rope.”
King and cast member Brian Shanks were both involved in Cabaret, which was performed just two weeks ago. That meant a limited rehearsal schedule and some necessary innovation.
“I was able to do a lot of one-on-one sessions for character development with the cast while doing Cabaret,” she said. “I would tell them that while we weren’t rehearsing they needed to be running their lines. I was able to create a good rehearsal schedule around their existing class and activity schedules. That helped because we were all working together.”
She has worked with Shanks, Harris and Ben Mannette in previous theatre activities, but Paula Kramer and Shawn Mitchell are new on the theatre side, although they had worked together in classes.
The Rope will be performed in Farrago Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. King asks the audience to “be prepared for suspense and a huge ‘aw’ at the end. It could be a good ‘aw’ or a bad ‘aw.’”
Shanks will be pulling triple duty this weekend, with an appearance in the Folk Music Festival Saturday afternoon as well as acting for King and directing Family News. Luckily for Shanks, this is not his first foray into directing.
“I have directed in the 24 Hour Theatre Project a couple times, but this is my first full-blown production,” he said. “It’s been a little stressful as not only is the playwright alive but he will be here.”
The playwright is St. Andrews alumnus Michael Paige who is returning for his 25th class reunion and will be in attendance for either the performance Friday at 8 p.m. or Sunday at 4 p.m. in Morris Morgan Theatre. Shanks is excited to present the material he finds highly relatable.
“Family News gets down to something every American can relate to now,” he said. “It is set in the 1960s with families reacting to war, politics and foreign relations. Every character has real world problems and concerns that they bring to this dinner setting of parents, a daughter and the daughter’s boyfriend. It really impacts the family unit. The 1960s were a time of big changes and this play really looks at that.”
While the pressure of the playwright’s presence combined with a strong setting could cause anxiety, Shanks is taking it in stride thanks to his enjoyment as a director with a great cast.
“I really like having the actor/director title,” he said. “I am a little bit too hands on as an actor and tend to get in the director’s way. I like having the role on either side of that process and I have been blessed with a great cast, getting all my first choices.”
Those first choices of Phil Ratchford, Leah Davison, Spencer Phillips and Emma Dendy created a great team.
“I’ve worked with Phil and Leah in a couple productions in the past,” Shanks said. “Spencer is like a brother to me and Emma is just incredible.
“To be able to do an alumni play for alumni weekend is such an honor. I love this school and this is a great way for me to show that love.”
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About St. Andrews Presbyterian College
An innovative and bold academic venture, the distinctive character of St. Andrews has been marked by an interdisciplinary curriculum, a highly acclaimed college press, an award-winning pipe band, national champion equestrian teams, and first-rate scholarship. In addition to classes on the main campus, adult learners also choose the Center for Adult and Professional Studies opportunities through St. Andrews @ Sandhills and St. Andrews ONLINE.
On Aug. 29, 1958, the merger between Presbyterian Junior College and Flora Macdonald College became official with the formation of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, N.C. Further information may be obtained by visiting the College's website www.sapc.edu, calling 800-763-0198 or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.