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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

ETB preview: Promising shows for the fall

<ir="ltr">Last Saturday and Sunday afternoon, a throng of hopeful actors and actresses gathered in Little Nourse to audition for this term’s Experimental Theater Board (ETB) shows. The freshman turnout at this term’s auditions was unsurprisingly large, given that the freshman class is the largest class in Carleton’s history.  Not only was there great attendance at this term’s ETB auditions, but the talent throughout the group was so deep that ETB directors found it difficult to cast from such a large pool of strong performers. Director Jenan Jacobsen ’18 lamented that “the abundance of talent made it difficult to choose just five women” for her show. Director Jane Kelly ’18 agreed that casting was particularly challenging this year, saying that the ETB directors “wished [they] had about fifty more roles to give.” This term, ETB offers four unique and exciting shows.

The first show of the term is Desperation, running 5th weekend. Desperation was written by Carleton student Nan Eleanor Campbell ’17 and will be directed by Tumi Akin-Deko ’17. It will be intriguing to see how this student written and student directed piece will come together in just five short weeks.

Opening sixth weekend is The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds by Paul Zindel (1970), directed by Jacobsen. The play focuses on a dysfunctional family consisting of single mother Beatrice and her two daughters Ruth and Tillie. Though there are moments of humor, overall The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds is gritty and rough. Jacobsen is thrilled to have found what she describes as “a powerhouse cast” to pull off this complicated play with challenging female roles.

Performed back to back, opening eighth weekend, and directed by Jane Kelly are two one act plays by George Bernard Shaw: Dark Lady of the Sonnets (1910) and Man of Destiny (1897). Though Kelly acknowledges that at the center of each play are, to put it in her words, “dead white men,” the former Shakespeare, and the latter Napoleon, she maintains that complex female characters are what make these two plays compelling. Although Shaw is well known for his humorous writing, which is present in both of these one acts, he also incorporates fantastic moments of ingenuity and sensitivity in his work. If you enjoy social commentary, Shakespeare jokes, and mockery of the English language, this is the show for you.

Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker (2009) will open ninth weekend and is being directed by Alexa Blasnek ’19 and Ceci Hart ’19. Circle Mirror Transformation is about an adult acting class at a community center. In this play, the audience learns about each character through formal theater exercises. Hart described Circle Mirror Transformation as “very meta” and says that she and Baker are excited to make creative artistic choices in directing this unique piece.

Carleton’s Experimental Theater Board is putting on four vastly different shows in terms of their historical contexts, style, and subject matter. With such diverse material and outstanding casts in each show, fall term promises some great theater in Little Nourse.

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