On Friday, April 17 and Friday, April 24, student-run theater organization Deep End APO sponsored new play reading events. Despite being spaced a week apart, these were the first of such events for the organization this academic year.
The April 17 reading was titled Hotline. Written by Emily Stets ’15 as her Public Mental Health: Wellness and the Arts Center for Integrative Studies CIS project, the play centers around a girl who experiences suicidal thoughts and calls the suicide hotline. The reading starred Tara Schaefle ’16, Stacie Argyrou ’16, Shannon Cron ’15 and Zach Greimann ’15. Hotline was preformed in the Flaten Art Barn as part of Deep End APO’s Mental Health Awareness Weekend.
The reading on April 24 was Honeymoon, written by Dane Staffer and Michael Voit. That reading took place in the David Johnson Boardroom. Though the play was originally written in 1991 and produced at the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis, the reading’s version of Honeymoon had been heavily revised from the original script. The reading was intended for the playwrights to hear their new draft read aloud, using distinct voices, in order to assess the current flow of the show.
Honeymoon explores themes of expectation and commitment. The play tells the story of Judy, a woman who locks herself in a closet over anxiety about her looming wedding to a puppeteer.
Honeymoon was read by Christine Menge ’18, Katie Johns ’15, Will Ibele ’18, Casey Bouldin ’15, Dylan Stratton ’16, Megan Behnke ’16 and Ian Sutherland ’18.
The play readings attracted not only Deep End board members and other students interested in theater, but also theater department faculty including Assistant Professor Jeanne Willcoxon and Artist in Residence Gary Gisselman.
A talk-back session with the playwrights followed each reading. Hotline‘s talkback consisted primarily of the audience conversing with Stets about her show’s meaning, while Staffer and Voit were primarily interested in the Honeymoon cast’s thoughts of the play they read.
Both readings were catered with appetizers and beverages provided by Bon Appétit. While all refreshments were greatly appreciated, none was more coveted than the large cheeseball in the center of the appetizer tray. Both events saw the spherical cheese product consumed in its entirety before any actors spoke a single line.
Photo Credit: BESS CLEMENT/MANITOU MESSENGER