Opening Night: student film “Alva” premieres this week

This Friday, April 10, 2015 at 8 pm is the opening night for the transmedia production: Condemned. This is a unique and new opportunity that the Theatre Department has taken advantage of by combining theatre arts, film, and photography. The display of talent will start at 8pm with the reveal of the student written film “Alva”. Austen Yip, the writer of the film created the script in a playwriting class in Fall 2014, which is considered a prequel to Tennessee Williams’ one-act play “This Property is Condemned,” which will take stage after the film.

Gary Amargnac directed and adapted the script into “Alva,” and began the the film project in early January from casting roles to building sets. Amargnac was new to capturing the digital reel, but not new to the world of film. Before he became the fantastic professor that he is today, Armagnac stepped in front of the camera in the popular series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Wow! As the director, Amargnac sought out actors in all different fields on campus  ” This experiment in Transmedia is just the beginning for us. Down the line, I see us partnering with many other departments here at Pacific to produce some very exciting projects. Imagine students writing a play, staging that play, turning it into a film, then into an animated piece, and then into a video game. That is the future. We are about teaching the creation of content and the distribution of that content to multiple platforms. I could not be prouder of the work done by all of the students on the film Alva.”

Sarah Kellner ’16, is starring in the role of Alva. “I actually heard about the audition through a friend, showed up and before I knew it, I was cast as Alva,” stated Kellner. However, the process of the film wasn’t always as glamorous as it would seem. “Looking back on the whole filming process, it took real dedication. It became my daily priority, to go from class to the studio for make-up, then get on set and work out each scene with multiple takes. But it was completely worth it; the experience that I was able to endure was something I would have never been able to achieve. The people I worked with were supportive, welcoming, and an outstanding representation of the Theatre Department,” explained Kellner. The film establishes the life that occurred in the early 1940’s between sisters Alva and Willie.

Next on the bill for the show is the One Act “ This Property is Condemned”. The play is actually being remounted from fall 2014 semester with a change to the character line up. Nicole Cherry ’15 will appear in both the film and the play as Willie. Cherry as an actor really has been able to harness the characterization that Tennessee Williams purposed for the character as well as brought her own unique elements to the performance. Also performing on both platforms is Luke Bolle ’16 as various characters. In the film, you can see Bolle in a bar fight and in the play supporting Willie.

The third portion of the night will be intertwined between the film and the play; it is a display of visual arts connecting to the harsh reality of homelessness. Through the positioning of their lenses, photography students from Professor Jennifer Little’s class give visual to the emotions of poverty. The photo series will be paired with a verbal diary reading from Alva’s private diary, created by the Twitter Improv Troupe on campus.

This is the first time ever that a transmedia production has been produced at Pacific, and it will be one you won’t want to miss. Sarah Borusak ’15 commented, “I have never seen anything like this on campus, so I am curious to see how it will all come together. I’ll definitely be there this weekend.” The show opens this Friday night at 8 p.m., and will run April 10-11 at 8 p.m., April 12 at 2 p.m., April 16 at 7:30 p.m. and April 17-18 at 8 p.m.

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