Alma College Theatre Performs 'Hot l Baltimore'
Upperclass and first-year theatre students will combine efforts for a performance of a truly American play.
Alma College Theatre presents Hot l Baltimore by Lanford Wilson at 8 p.m. Oct. 12, 13 and 14 and 3 p.m. Oct. 15 in the Remick Heritage Center, theatre.
Tickets are $8 for adults and free for Alma College staff, students and youth 18 and under. Call (989) 463-7304 for ticket reservations. The play contains adult situations and explicit language.
The story focuses on a collection of characters facing their imminent eviction with the planned demolition of a once-glorious hotel. The play takes place in the hotel lobby where the employees as well as prostitutes and residents connect and interact during Memorial Day in the early 1970s.
“The characters are really down and out on their luck,” said faculty director Joe Jezewski. “We’re at this seedy underbelly of life, but Wilson deals with it with such a sense of humor. He lets us into that world.
“The character work by the actors is very important because they have to dig out who they are and why they are the way they are,” he said. “There really is no lead character. The engine of the play becomes Girl, but many stories come out of it. The characters have to create their whole life onstage.”
Historically speaking, people had reached a saturation point at the start of the 1970s after the revolution of the ’60s, said Jezewski. People lost conviction for their passions.
“I really like Lanford Wilson; he speaks with a definite American voice,” said Jezewski. “He winds up saying things very subtly about America.”
Not only was Wilson’s work a powerful commentary on America in 1973 when it was first produced, it is just as important for Americans today, said Jezewski.
“We don’t take care of things; we don’t cherish things. We’re a disposable society,“ Jezewski said. “It’s important for us to actively pursue our passions.”
For Grand Blanc freshman Breann White, who plays the role of Girl in the play, the biggest challenge is learning her lines. However, she also has more freedom than in her high school productions.
“There are no rigid directions as to where you have to go at an exact time,” said White, who plans to double major at Alma in biology and theatre. “It’s nice to have the freedom to develop your character.”
Essexville senior Santana Vermeesch has acted in college plays since her participation in “Our Country’s Good” as a freshman. Her biggest challenge is character development.
“Each character is so unique and well developed,” said Vermeesch, who is majoring in theatre with a minor in biology. Although the lines are always a challenge, “the language is so different. You’ve got to find the rhythm, and there’s a different rhythm for each character,” she said.
Both White and Vermeesch are recipients of the College’s Distinguished Theatre Scholarship.
Posted: Mon, October 2nd, 2006 at 12:36AM