While the department-run plays are directed by a professional director, students are also able to direct productions through SIPA (Student Initiated Production Assignment). This enables students to pick a play they would like to direct, then apply to the Theatre board to get it accepted.
The first production, which is now running, is The Crackwalker, a play by Judith Thompson. It will be directed by Mindy Parfitt, a Theatre student familiar with acting. The Crackwalker, a fairly well known play from the 80s, focuses on two couples who both have to deal with a mental illness.
“It’s gritty and raw,” said Parfitt, who thinks people will enjoy it because it deals with universal issues. One couple is abusive, and the other is struggling with an unstable, edgy relationship. Parfitt’s hesitancy to put on a play with such a dark and heavy theme disappeared after she started working on it. “The department has shown support for this project,” she said.
Even though Parfitt and her production team are producing this play through SIPA, they chose to go down a slightly different road by creating their own production company. By doing this, they are able to step out a little from the
Theatre department, while still being able to use their resources.
As opposed to other plays that are composed of students only, this play includes two professional actors, something that is being done for the first time this year. The Crackwalker is on now at Geordie Theatre, and runs until February 11.
The cost for students is $7, and non-students $10.
Meanwhile, second-year Theatre student Jory Berger is directing Soldier Dreams by Daniel MacIver, whose story revolves around a young man dying of AIDS.
Throughout his last years of life, David’s family and his lover surround his deathbed, struggling to endure through his situation, while he utters words that make no sense to anyone. While coping with his death, the family tries to decode what he is saying, which only makes the situation more frustrating.
Berger didn’t solely choose this play because he likes the way it indirectly deals with AIDS. “I like it because it’s not a common subject… and doesn’t focus on them being gay,” said Berger. Instead, the play focuses on how his different family members and his lover deal with the death of their loved one.
Berger believes that because of the subject material, many students will be able
to relate to it and there will be a good turnout.
Soldier Dreams, which is being directed completely under the guidelines of SIPA
(meaning it will be students only), will run from February 8 to February 10 at the Cazalet Theatre located on the Loyola Campus. Immediately following the play will be a short one-woman show, called the Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe. Admission is free.
The Crackwalker, directed by Theatre student Mindy Parfitt (left to right):
Carol Hodge (Theresa), Graham Cuthbertson (Alan), Paula Dawson (Sandy) and