UC Theatre Club’s first production begins with a splash

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Maggie Reid, Assistant Features Editor

The Utica College theatre club’s first production went from “Much Ado about Nothing” to “Singing in the Rain” in a matter of seconds. A pipe burst, spilling dirty dishwater from the cafeteria above the stage, drowning out Cali Kesses, who played Balthasar/Second Watchman.

It was a quiet trickle that one could easily assume was deliberate, then it was obvious something was wrong. But as they say in theater–the show must go on. After about ten minutes or so, the water went quiet, and the play resumed like nothing happened.

The production took place on Nov. 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. in Strebel auditorium. It was a live reading as the actors and actresses only had a short time to practice their lines.

“We got our scripts around the end of September,” said junior Shelby Deere, who played Conrade. “We didn’t start doing everyday rehearsals until the week before the play.”

The play tells the story of Leonato (played by Shane Reed), a respected nobleman who lives in Messino with his daughter Hero (Elise Burby), niece Beatrice (Margarita Cristina Molina) and her father Antonio (Nick McAdam). The play begins as Leonato is preparing to welcome friends home from war, Don Pedro (Tanner Bluewolf), a prince, and soldiers Claudio (Spencer Mayo) and Benedick (Cormac McCambridge).

In true Shakespearean fashion, Claudio quickly falls in love with Hero and they decide to get married, while Benedick and Beatrice continue hurling insults to each other like they have done in the past.

In the weeks leading up to the wedding, the couple and friends decide to trick Benedick and Beatrice into falling in love with each other, but not before Don John (Conner Supensky), Don Pedro’s illegitimate brother, decides to trick Claudio into thinking Hero has been unfaithful to him, making Claudio decide to reveal just how dirty he finds Hero right as they are about to take vows.

To wrap this up, Hero’s family then decides to pretend she died of a broken heart, Benedick and Beatrice end up confessing their love, Claudio learns of Hero’s innocence and grieves her death and as a punishment is asked to marry Leonato’s niece who looks like Hero (but who is really Hero in a mask).

The Constable, Dogberry (Ethan Kipp) and his assistant Verges (Malik Gayle) perhaps drew the most laughs, especially when they came racing down the theater’s aisle on a broom “horse.”

The play was the first entirely student run production in recent memory. Everything from the set, costume design and directing was done by the students.

Earlier this semester, the theatre department put on a musical of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” so the theatre club wanted to put on something that was just for students–as well as a play that did not involve too much singing for those who did not want to.

The play was free admission, which was due to the fact that Cormac McCambridge, president of the theatre club and director of the play, believes that the arts should be available to everyone.

McCambridge’s says his expectations when it came to the play was to “not have dish water rain down.”

“I expected it to be much worse, but we made it through.” McCambridge said.

Next semester, come April, the theatre club will be putting on another production, so be on the lookout. Rain jackets hopefully not needed.

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