What to expect from the One Acts
The list of terms used to describe Pacific’s Homecoming festivities is long and varied, but after this weekend’s opening of the Theatre Arts Department’s fall production, there may need to be a new addition: “thought-provoking.”
The production uniquely features three one-act plays written by the acclaimed American playwright Tennessee Williams. “This Property is Condemned,” “Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen” and “27 Wagons Full of Cotton” feature tragic heroines who face oppression and degradation in living out their everyday realities. Williams’ ability to treat his characters and their stories with shocking realism stems from his own understanding of reality. The playwright’s beloved sister was victim to severe psychological problems; her image is reflected in close to all of Williams’ writings.
To get a sense of how students in Pacific’s Theatre Arts Department feel about working with Williams’ emotionally dense stories, The Pacifican spoke with actress Kelly Manlaibayar ’17, who plays Flora in the longest and last of the acts, “27 Wagons Full of Cotton.”
“[This production] is different than anything I’ve ever done before or anything the department has done in a really long time,” Manlaiybayar disclosed. “It’s sort of like a slap of realism.”
It is precisely because of the challenge posed by that distinctive realism the “big cast and small crew,” as Manlaibayar puts, have been putting in a high number of hours since late August. Similar to some of the other students, Manlaibayar feels that the role’s demanding seriousness “takes [her] out of her element” in a refreshing way: “This is the role that I’ve struggled with the most ever […] but it’s because of that frustration that I love [playing Flora] so much… I love the challenge.”
Just as the production requires the actress to step of her comfort zone, Manlaibayar predicts that the audience “will definitely take something out of it emotionally — they’ll be moved one way or another.”
Take a break from the rush of Homecoming to see for yourself how the three Williams works come together for a dramatic eye-opener. For the optimal experience, be sure to view the show while adhering to Manlaibayar’s biggest tip: “Come with an open mind.”
The production is directed by Lisa Tromavitch. Shows will be held in the Long Theatre on Oct. 17, 18, 24 and 25 at 8 p.m., or Oct. 19 at 2 p.m. and Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for students, faculty and seniors and $12 for general admission.
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