Nostalgium opens spring theater

BY MARISA WAY | JANUARY 28, 2010 7:30 AM

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Alex Scott will gladly talk about the play he has directed, but don’t even dream about asking him how it ends.

“It’s a wild ride, that’s for sure,” he said a week before the show’s opening night. “I don’t want to give anything away, but there is a big twist.”

Matthew Benyo wrote Nostalgium, and the cast of two comprises Brittainy Barattia and Jacob Langenfeld. The first workshop production for the spring semester will run at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday in 172 Theatre Building. Admission is free to all, but seating is limited; tickets will be available at the door.

The title of the play refers to a combination of nostalgia and delirium, and the production is different from others in the theater department. The venue and set are smaller than usual, and rehearsals lasted only four weeks. However, the plot may be the most interesting part of the production.

“The play is about a woman who invites a young man over to her house and tries to persuade him to cut off her leg through a series of stories about her life,” Scott said. “The female character feels tied down to her leg, but we’re not as sure what the male character is tied down to. It’s more vague what he’s tied down to.”

Barattia said the ending is her favorite part of the script.

“There’s this huge, gruesome, horrifying twist that I can’t give away,” she said.

Although both Barattia and Scott spoke about the wonderful experience the workshop has been, it wasn’t without its challenges.

“With a workshop, you have to pick certain parts of the play that you really want to focus on,” Barattia said. “It’s a little bit grittier, and I think that really works well for this production.”

The script is 97 pages and largely consists of monologues, so memorization was not an easy task for the two actors. Scheduling rehearsals was also a struggle.

“Rehearsal was four weeks, two before break and two after break,” Scott said. “Jake and I were both working on another production the first week, the second week there was that big snowstorm, then finals. It’s basically been two and half weeks of rehearsal.”

Despite the challenges, the four members of the cast and crew still managed to have fun.

“We’ve become very, very close,” Scott said. “The process is incredibly relaxed. It’s a very chill process. It works, and it’s very smooth.”

The play is about characters who are trapped, he said, and he wants audience members to question what they are trapped by when they leave the play.

“I hope they are surprised, but I also hope they can see the honesty and truth in the piece,” Barattia said. “It’s bizarre. It’s a lot of bizarre, but I hope they can see the honesty.”

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