Ouachita Baptist University will host its first senior theatre arts show April 29 at 8 p.m. in Verser Theatre. The show is an opportunity for senior theatre arts majors to display a culmination of their theatre studies at Ouachita. Participating seniors will perform Lee Blessing’s one-act play Eleemosynary which follows the relationships of three generations of women.
Performing in the show are Rachel Garrett Bland from Mesquite, Texas, as Echo; Marcie Bealer from Branson, Mo., as Artie; and Valerie Martinka from Dallas, Texas, as Dorothea. Michael Krikorian from Rockwall, Texas, will be conducting light design and technical assistance.
Since theatre arts majors do not take part in the musical theatre senior recital, this show offers the students their own opportunity to cap their career at Ouachita. Eric Phillips, professor of theatre arts and primary proponent of the show, said, “This is not a requirement but an opportunity for students to have some stage time on a self-directed project to combine skills and ideas that they have gathered from their time here.”
The students directed themselves, as well as designed the set and costumes. “We had to learn to work together and work on directing each other,” Bealer noted. “Putting together a show and being in it was a new challenge.” Bealer added that she believes it has also given the students the opportunity to learn from each other.
The students began working on the show during the fall semester and began rehearsals in February. Bland said, “It has been very difficult for us since we are also preparing for the musical and other big senior projects,” Bland pointed out. She added, however, that involvement in the project has been worthwhile since the play has helped her “come to understand my art better.”
“We are a small department with a very big theatrical season so this is stretching it,” Phillips said, “but I want the students to have this validation.”
By Rebecca Stone