By Danielle Silvia
Social Media Editor
All College Theater debuted its first show of the semester, “Secret in the Wings” on Sept. 27. The show ran until Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Don Evans Black Box Theater in Kendall Hall.
The show, though at times confusing with its twist of various themes, featured 12 cast members, who each played a different role from scene to scene. The show opens up with a young girl reading a book. The main character, Kira, was played by Kira Cohen, a junior psychology and elementary education double major.
Kira’s parents explain that they are going out to dinner and are leaving her with a sitter, Mr. Cruz, for the night. Mr. Cruz — played by student Lenin Cruz, a sophomore computer science major — is revealed to be an ogre with a long green tail. Kira is clearly distraught by this, but her parents fail to acknowledge her cries.
Mr. Cruz begins to tell stories to young Kira that come to life in front of her own very eyes. He tells four tales, “Three Blind Queens,” “Allerleira,” “The Princess Who Wouldn’t Laugh” and “Silent for Seven Years.” Each of these classic European fairy tales have dark themes that range from incest to abuse.
Each fairytale finishes at the climax, normally a disaster, to be resolved at the end of the show. For example, the “Three Blind Queens” ended with a chaotic war and two mothers, who were played by Franz and Colleran, resorted to eating their children out of desperation. “Allerleira” concludes with Colleran being forced into marrying her father, to which she chooses to run away from.
While each individual fairytale was rather difficult to follow, each tale ended up with Mr. Cruz asking Kira to marry him, to which Kira blatantly refuses, and the rapid change of scenes.
The set featured physical pathways for cast members to journey through time, such as doors in the ground, stairs and side sets. The carpentry team was busy sculpting the set, made primarily from wood, since the early days of this semester.
Rebecca Conn, a junior mathematics major, served as an assistant carpenter for “Secret in the Wings” and helped design the set.
“We had to make an immense set for this show,” Conn said. The carpentry team was composed of two master carpenters and four assistant carpenters. All hands on deck made this an easier job due to the importance of the set.
“We were asked to build a unique set of entrances and exits, including a wardrobe, crate and trap door,” Conn said.
Director and alumnus Curt Foxworth (’02) agreed that supreme carpentry was an asset to the success of the show. With each character’s costumes constantly changing and the lighting illuminating the main characters of each fairytale, the set was perhaps the only stable aspect of the show.
Foxworth said that the planning for the show began at the tail end of last semester. Auditions took place exactly a month before the final show, so the rapid pace of the show’s scheduling was challenging. However, with organization and teamwork, Foxworth said, everything turned out great.
This is not Foxworth’s first time directing the College’s stage. He also directed “As You Like It” and “Romeo and Juliet” at the College.
Assistant director Kate Augustin, a sophomore elementary education and psychology double major, was under the guidance of Foxworth for her first time assistant directing a show here at the College. She stressed the importance of rehearsals since the show was produced in a short four weeks.
“This show is so heavily reliant on the ensemble aspect that the entire cast was called to rehearsals almost every day after classes as well as on weekends,” Augustin explained.
The cast featured a wide variety of students that allowed every cast member to explore a different side of a character. For instance, Cohen not only played the little girl in the beginning of the show, but also was a member of four little girls who were friends in “Allerleira.”
Junior Kelly Colleran, a history and secondary education major, played a role in each of the fairytales –– she played a mother in “Three Blind Queens,” a runaway in “Allerleira” and one of seven brothers in “Silent for Seven Years.”
At the end, Kira chooses to kiss Mr. Cruz, and at that moment, he wakes up and reveals his true form, a young child, leaving audiences wondering if the entire show was a dream or not.
The secret in “Secret in the Wings” was evident in the range of emotions the show offered, from grief, humor, to joy. Everyone in the cast and audience felt a yearning of nostalgia for their childhood and fairytales in the midst of school-related stress. While each fairytale inevitably confused audiences, it allowed everyone to take a few hours out of the day to feel youthful again.
Foxworth summed it up perfectly, saying, “In the beginning, we just had scripts of old fairytales,” Foxworth said. “Transforming them tonight was bringing everyone’s inner child to light.”