Outside the Velvet Curtain: A Preview of the Performance

IMG_8020It was 7:45p.m. as we waited in line to enter the double-doors of Long Theatre. After weeks of preparation, tonight Pacific students would finally make their debut in the production of three, Tennessee Williams, One Act plays.

The line quickly made its way to the ticket table, adorned with a fresh bouquet of flowers and a gentleman who greeted us.

We received our tickets and moved through the atrium, where a station was arranged for guests to experience a new kind of theatre-Transmedia Storytelling.

Transmedia Storytelling was crafted into the promotion of this production as a means to encourage more engagement with theatergoers through use of social media. Therefore, four computers were available for guests to learn more about the production through this new technology.

Guests were encouraged to use the computers and join social media platforms such as Twitter to become immersed in the world of the characters, whom they would be watching live throughout the performance.

IMG_7974We were then guided into the dimly lit theatre, where the whispers of an anxious audience were soon interrupted by the announcement that the show would begin shortly.

Just after, the Director of the production, Lisa A. Tromovitch, who is the chair of the University of the Pacific Theatre Arts Department, welcomed everyone to the show.

The production was an hour and fifteen minutes long with no intermission. It began with the first play, This Property is Condemned and smoothly moved along to the second act, Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen and finally to the longest of the three acts, 27 Wagons Full of Cotton.

Here is a preview of the performance created by University of the Pacific Theatre Arts student, Zi Heng “Simba” Wang, who was also the Light Board Operator for the production.

Each of the three one-acts contained an element of sadness, portraying an underlying condition affecting the lives of each character. In particular, one major theme throughout the production was the the disconnect between the characters and the society they live in.

The cast brought to life a dark, challenging time in American history through their captivating portrayal of these characters.

In one scene from 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, the audience was laughing as the flirting between Flora Meighan and Silva Vicarro, played by Kelly Manlaibayer and Chris Leonor-DiPaolo, escalated. Within seconds, the laughing changed into shocking gasps when the friendly flirting took a sinister turn.

Another highlight from the performance was the impeccably designed stage props, including the Meighan residence, a southern country home with a wraparound porch and a wooden swing, seen in the left photo below, also from 27 Wagons Full of Cotton.

Seen in the photo on the left is Kelly Manlaibayer and Alex DiPeppe, playing the role of Flora and Jake, in 27 Wagons Full of Cotton.  In the center photo, Derek Gunther and Jessie George posing for their roles as Tom and Wille in This Property is Condemned. In the photo seen on the right is Weona Truong and Shaun Shah, playing the roles of Woman and Man in Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen.

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It was a moving production managed by students and guided by dedicated University of the Pacific faculty and staff.

If you are interested in experiencing this performance for yourself, the next show is Thursday, October 23rd at 7:30pm in Long Theatre. For more show times and information, please visit the box office.


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