By Suzanne Tracy
Storms and shapeshifters — that is what the audience can expect seeing a staged reading of “Something for the Fish” by Brooklyn-based playwright, actor and songwriter Emily Krause, put on by SUNY Plattsburgh’s Theater Department. The show runs March 2 at Krinovitz Recital Hall in Hawkins Hall at 7 p.m. and March 3 at 5:30 p.m. at Chapter One Coffee. This staged reading is free and open to the public.
Those taking the time to come and see this production won’t see a typical play being put on. It is something completely different and unique.
“They [students] will act,” Director Shawna Mefferd Kelty said, “but many of the stage directions that are often enacted by actors or turned into design elements by designers will be read aloud, which gives the audience a chance to imagine, to have the image painted for them through the words of the play.”
This production, with its lack of flash or big set pieces, will be a lot calmer and more focused on words. Mefferd Kelty emphasized this, saying, “Staged readings put the focus on the playwright, their words and the world they have created. We hear their words and are invited in as audience and performers to imagine the world of the play that arises out of those words.”
“Something for the Fish” was written to focus on the undeniable power of climate change and what grief can do to a person. The show also focuses on the fact that sometimes people don’t notice the change, whether in the climate or in people.
First-year Leo Greer, majoring in English and writing arts and minoring in gender and women’s studies, says their audition was so much better than they had realized. Greer plays the part of William.
“I decided to audition for ‘Something for the Fish’ because I saw the flyer and my Gender Women’s Studies and theater professors suggested I audition,” Greer said. “I was so excited, I had spent years fearing auditions of any kind.”
This type of production allows the actors to feel more comfortable.
This audition can be a lot less frightening or rigorous for students who do not have typical theater experience. Greer said a staged reading can help allow everyone to feel included.
Adding to the audition process, Jessica Rigby, a senior majoring in theater and playing Pat in the production, said: “There is a little less pressure with a staged reading since we don’t have to memorize. This also allows it to be more accessible to performers who can’t commit to the massive time commitment that a large production becomes.”
This audition process and production has already attracted a handful of students with broad knowledge and skill sets.
In the future, more may come forward due to the calmer requirements for auditioning and time restraints that aren’t as strict as a normal production.
For more information contact Mefferd Kelty at firstname.lastname@example.org.