Thursday, September 28, 2023

Play gives student actors experience 

“White Room of My Remembering” tells the story of Jessie, a girl who comes back to her small town in Pennsylvania, after her parents died to relive the memories she has in her childhood home.

The play ran last Friday, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. It took place in the Black Box Studio Theatre and was only 45 minutes long.

“There’s so much you can take away from such a short play,”Freshman Biology major Rachel Eagar said. “I’d say it’s one of the best ive seen so far.”

Eagar said the way the narrative switched back and forth from past to present showed how Jess felt, in a surreal way.

Jessie had been living in New York City to pursue her dream of becoming an artist, which her family had tried to talk her out of. She returns home with a friend from the city whom encourages her to sell the house, but Jessie is hesitant.

A second Jessie then enters the stage, along with her parents and Michael, a love interest from when she was a teenager.

Emma Caton, the costume designer and assistant director, led exercises with the cast including a game where cast members held hands and make eye contact for a minute.

Little Jess and Michael participated in this exercise to adjust to playing love interests.

“It makes you uncomfortable,” Caton said. “but once you look into someone’s eyes long enough, it gets you comfortable enough to be like, ‘OK I have to be in love with this person on stage.’”

During this exercise, if the cast members laugh, the minute starts over.

The storyline alternates between Little Jess, played by Nikki Louison, in the ’ 30s and present Jessie, played by Jhada-Ann Walker, in the ’50s.

Each character had a primary color that reflected who they are and the theme they represent, Caton said.

Mama wore a white dress with a yellow trim, because she is always talking about lemon meringue pie and her yellow roses she has planted on the property. This represented her family values and ideas about the role of women in the play.

Papa’s color was red which he wears in the form of a scarf, an accessory brought up throughout the play to describe his eccentric personality. He also wears a shirt with paint all over it, which Mama does not approve of, calling it his coat of many colors.

Michael was also red because he was an apple farmer, but also to represent romance.

Jessie wears all of these colors throughout the play to show she is a combination of those who affected her life.

Director LeAnn Yelton hoped the play inspired audience members to follow their dreams, but also understand what it means to decide.

“I think it’s super important to do what you want to do and what makes you happy but sometimes that requires sacrifice,” Yelton said.

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