Looking for some theatrical entertainment this Friday or Saturday night? Four first-year students will perform in “The Meta Plays: RWU's Freshman Show,” at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 20 and 21. A series of four plays written by playwright Andrew Biss, these 10 minute pieces contain exaggerated theatrical elements that turn plays inside out.
Kaelyn Brezina, Mary Drascheff, Olivia Hauvuy and Matthew Mercado have been rehearsing for this showcase for three weeks. Preparation for the performance has involved change for all of them. On top of adjusting to a new school, dorm life and being away from home, the actors have tackled getting to know a new stage and learning to work together in a relatively short period of time.
Luckily, they have not been tackling it alone. Director Dorissa Boggs along with sophomore Stage Managers Jake Taylor and Amanda Neff have helped to guide these freshmen.
“They seem to be good friends. When issues on stage arise, we and the director work to help them out in whatever way we can," Taylor and Neff said.
All four actors have different origins and backgrounds in theatre. Their home states include Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey. Some only joined theatre once high school started, while others have performed for the past twelve years. These students have performed in everything from “The Wizard of Oz” to plays so abstract they cannot even remember what they were about.
Their differences have only helped them grow closer together. They struggle together, laugh together and succeed together.
“Everyone here is so accepting, kind and understanding of each other. We are always ready to help when someone is struggling,” Hauvuy said.
All of them agreed that the experience has been a nerve-racking one.
“I was nervous at first but everyone was so nice. It has been very easy going. I have grown to be more comfortable over time. It has been an amazing experience," Mercado said.
You may think you know these four already. Be ready to see a side of them you have never seen before. In one play called ‘Characters,’ the audience gets to see Drascheff act uncharacteristically, insulting fellow cast member Mercado. In multiple plays, Mercado will grasp the audience’s attention when they see him talk to them. Marvel when Hauvuy embraces her role as Heather in ‘Heathers,’ and get ready to be blown away by Brezina’s skills and powerful stage presence. You will be entertained for the entire night and amazed by these students' talents.
All four students, when asked about advice for next year's cast of the freshman show, said it is not an opportunity to be missed.
"You may be nervous. Most of us were, but we grew into a tight-knit supporting group of friends and those nerves went away fast," they said.
Tickets are $5 for students and can be purchased the day of in the ticket booth or online at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4364916. Come and see “The Meta Plays: RWU's Freshman Show” and support the first play of the year from this outstanding theatre group.