WRITTEN BY DODI KENAN
On Thursday, March 31, MiddleEarth will present a reading of “Legendary Deaths” written and directed by Terry Quinn in Founders Hall at 11:00 a.m. to noon. This second production follows their first successful go-round as producers, with a reading of “Bad Evidence”, a quite fascinating play also written by Terry Quinn, featured Thomas Francis Murphy and Elizabeth Mason.
“Legendary Deaths” is a musical, which, in a complete production would feature poetry, songs and a full orchestra. Producing a reading that will feature music is more challenging than putting on a non-musical production, but the four student producers are up to the task.
Chelsea Clark is the lead producer of this production, and has decided to employ the use of a taped musical underscore by Richard White.
The lead producer of each production not only chooses the play from a list of twenty, but also develops budget drafts, is involved in public relations, drafts letters of invitation and notes of thanks to performers, in addition to arranging the venue; and that is only about a fourth of a lead producer’s duties.
Fortunately Clark has, at her assistance, the other three members of MiddleEarth – Sarah Anwar, Devin LaPierre and Michael Melia, who all take on the “lesser” responsibilities for this particular production. The lead producer is also assisted immeasurably by faculty and staff, a few of whom include Dean Houlihan, Richard Relkin, and Edwin Mathieu.
During all of the productions, Sarah Anwar keeps a record of all of the proceedings, both in and out of production, in order to develop a comprehensive report to present to Dean Houlihan and to the Chairs of the English and Communications Departments. MiddleEarth’s hope is that such a document will help justify continuing the Music and Theatre Production Workshop into the next school year.
The production on March 31 entitled “Legendary Deaths” covers the last moments of the monk Rasputin as he drowns in the River Neva, Dido as she casts herself upon the pyre, and the medieval poet Francois Villon as he is about to be hanged for theft and murder. In a full production the play would include of poetry, songs and a full orchestra. However, for this reading, taped music will be played and three actors/ singers from the “Play-By-Ear” improv company will portray the three characters.
There will be two final productions coming up, the first of which will be held on Thursday, April 14 at 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon in Founders Hall, and is entitled “One Sunday at the Fitzgeralds.” The final production will be comprised of four radio plays in which student actors will be featured and will be presented on Monday, April 18 at 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Founders Hall.
The titles of the four radio plays are “Blind Date,” “For Whom the Bells Toll,” “Life After Prom,” and “Calling All Girls.”
The four producers of MiddleEarth proved their mettle with the first play “Bad Evidence” and their hard work made it easy for the audience to just sit back and enjoy the play. Based on that success, the remaining productions should be as equally enjoyable, and as well-produced as the first production.