Sunday, March 20, 2011

Production Photos by Jessica Sabogal

Thank you to Jessica Sabogal for snapping a collection of beautiful production photos.
Click below to enjoy the album.

Some Mother's Son

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"Tense, Compelling"

Critics are an interesting element in the production process. They can often make or break a show with one single swift pass at the keyboard. In one single evening they judge months (even years) of a playwright, cast and crew's work. Worst of all, some critics have never even penned, directed, performed or designed a play. They are voyeurs of our world. Powerful, box-office-altering voyeurs.

At the college level, reviews tend to not really make a big difference. They rarely come around and when they do they tend to be three parts summary and one part flattery. No matter what, it's always exciting to see our work earn public attention.

Ian Opolski wrote a review for The Collegian that went to press on closing night. It's an overall positive review. Unfortunately for Ian, I'm not sure he truly understood the play and would benefit from a second viewing. For example, he refers to Mrs. North played by Emily Brown as the "the mother of the deceased boy." Did the constant repetition of  the name "Alexander Boltwood" and "The Boltwood's" throw him off? (He could've been tired that night.) Fortunately for us, a lot of people did think the plot full of action and we performed the last two nights to full, fantastic audiences. Thus, proving that word-of-mouth may indeed overpower the critic. 

An excerpt from the review:
Some Mother’s Son is a low-action domestic drama, so it naturally must rely on character development to maintain interest. Smith’s production fares well in this regard. It is fortunate for the performance that the bulk of the action falls on Susanna Apgar, who plays Masha. While the entire cast handles the material capably, it is undoubtedly Apgar who dominates the stage. Even in the rare moments in which attention is drawn away from her character, Apgar often manages to pull the focus back onto herself by way of small, effective movements of her face and body. Constantly cleaning, wiping or wringing her hands, and taking shuddering breaths, she skillfully relates the growing emotional strain of her situation 
while also gesturing to the character’s darker undercurrents.

Alex Teicheira, who plays Masha’s husband, Carl Kvichak, also performs well, particularly in the second act, in which his character develops more nuance. Likewise, the brief confrontation between Masha and Constance North – the mother of the deceased boy played by Smith undergraduate Emily Brown – is one of the most shocking and shattering moments of the entire piece. As little actually happens in the plot of Some Mother’s Son, its cast should be commended for how engaging and lively this character-driven drama continues to be throughout its duration."
-Ian Opolski, The Daily Collegian
To read the complete review go HERE.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Revealing Secrets

Last night we closed the show in front of an oversold audience! What a fantastic way to end a successful run. We're sad to say "good-bye" to the show, the cast, the crew and the world we created.  However, we're excited to reveal one of our big secrets!

We've received a ton of questions about the mechanics behind the Mrs. North Murder Sequence. Hopefully, the following will provide some answers:

Step One:

Rigging Emily Brown (Mrs. North) with blood pump and tubing.

Step Two:

For the performance, Kaidi Williams (Costume Designer) dressed Mrs. North in a turtle neck, added a little more volume and sag to the brassiere, and designed an updo that together masked both the pump and tubing.  Upon impact, Mrs. North exploded a handheld blood pack on her head. We also filled breakaway bottles with about a quarter cup of fake blood for additional explosive effect. Once she hit the floor, the actress slowly pumped the blood which oozed from the tubing and out the side of her head. Kaidi specifically chose a white costume so to highlight the oozing blood. 

Step Three:
Hana Kadoyama (SM), Emma Jimerson (ASM) and Zoe Travis (ASM) clean and reset.

Thank you to SMASH Props for the incredible breakaway bottles!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Sophian Review: "A Thrilling Mystery"

"Some Mother's Son is a dynamic play about family, loyalty and honesty. Written by Darren Harned MFA '11, and directed by Kendra Animoto MFA '11, this mystery thriller keeps the 
audience on the edges of their seats from beginning to end."
-The Smith College Sophian

Read the complete review HERE.

Don't miss the show! Last shows tonight and tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Local Reviews and DOLLAR NIGHT!

Short on cash, but don't want to miss what everyone's talking about?
Come to Dollar Night!

$1 Tickets for all Five College and High School students!

"Wow, stellar performance, one of the best ever! Phenomenal!"
-Rachel Besserman

"Niceley done"
-Elizabeth Brasington

-Sarah Dunn

"[I] had the amazing pleasure of seeing "Some Mother's Son" last night. I am still truly blown away by the human inticracies and the attention to detail. So incredible. The actors were all spectacular, Kendra the brilliant director shaped an amazing story, and the play written by Darren was full of life. EVERYONE SHOULD GO SEE IT. I'm going again while I still have the chance! :)"
-Emily Wiest

"I send you [the director], send all of you, my vigorous congratulations!  
I'll be getting as many as I can to realize how much they'll miss if they don't catch one of this coming week's performances."

-Professor Len Berkman

Also heard in the Smith Theatre Department halls:
"Truly entertaining" 
"A great performance" 
"Perfect combination of tragedy and comedy."

Opening Night cake based on poster design by Jessica Sabogal.

Opening Night Reception.