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Theater auditions held for upcoming plays

Friday, January 18, 2008  
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By Guest Writer

Emmalee Mattern

This year the theater department made the decision to go against the normal audition process by hosting two auditions simultaneously. Auditions were held in Judd Theater for the plays “Rossums Universal Robots” and “Broken Glass,” on Jan. 7 and 8. The theater department posted the cast listing three days after the auditions. Assistant Professor of Communication and Theater Barrett Huddleston said typical play auditions are held one play at a time.

“We were sort of taking a leap of faith with a duel audition” Huddleston said.

“R.U.R.” written by Karel Capek will be the first play performed this semester. “Broken Glass,” a drama written by Arthur Miller, will be performed later in the semester.

Huddleston said this process was chosen for practicality and fairness. This will also give audiences the occasion to see a larger range of actors throughout the plays as well as provide students an opportunity to work in a variety of situations.

“It was a really good turn out. There were a lot more people than I thought,” Director of “Broken Glass,” Senior Paul Mitchell said.

Mitchell said they let one group at a time into the theatre to audition, instead of having everyone at once. Students had the option to audition for either of the two plays.

“You’ve got a lot less distraction and a lot more efficiency.” Mitchell said. “It’s more like a well-oiled machine.”

Huddleston said he looks forward to possibly using this method of auditioning for every show in Oklahoma Christian University’s future or, at least, for the ones next fall. 

“It was really easy; anyone could do it,” freshman Lisa Curry said.

“R.U.R.” is planned to open later in February, after four-hour rehearsals, four days a week for five weeks.

“Show support to fellow students, especially after all the hard work that goes into the many nights of rehearsal. It’s nice to see an audience out there, to see a bunch of friends,” said Curry.

Curry plays the part of the Nanny android in the comedic/futuristic work “R.U.R.” First produced in 1921, “R.U.R.” was the play that made the word “robot” common.

“OC students generally enjoy comedies, but we’re also focusing on the character of the emotions of our human-like androids,” Huddleston said. “This play isn’t usually performed at the University level, let alone at a Christian university.”

Huddleston said it is not typically shown because it poses a side of assumed Communism although Capek was a blatant Christian.

“It’s risky in that it’s untried. There is no previous precedent.” Huddleston said

Paul Mitchell has reported the set of “Broken Glass” as blueprinted to be abstract and fantastic, which also echoes his interpretation of the script itself.

“I was actually reading a collection of Miller plays when I ran across this one.” Mitchell said. “I started reading it, and I couldn’t put it down for two hours. I called up Phil Reagan and told him I’d found the play I wanted to use. It was totally unlike any other play I had ever read so far; it was captivating. It was so driving. It was relentless. It was beautiful.”

This story about New York, Jews, Kristallnacht (the night of ransacking of Jewish homes and shops before the outbreak of World War II) and even racism can be considered the opposite of “R.U.R.”.

“R.U.R.” will be shown Feb. 15, 16, 22 and 23. “Broken Glass” will be shown April 10, 11 and 12. Both shows will be performed in Judd Theater.

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