Actor’s Studio explores relationships in play

Paige Graves
Staff writer

Journalism and mass communications instructor Elizabeth Thomas gets into character in ‘Eleemosynary.’ The play is showing at 7:30 p.m. today through Tuesday in Actor’s Studio Theatre, located at Wilson Hall 310B.

Jesse Carruthers/The News

There is a moment in everyone’s life when they feel something was written for them. Angi Hanan hopes students will feel this coming from the stage of the Actor’s Studio Theatre.

Hanan, member of the theater department and director of “Eleemosynary,” said the play is highly intimate and relatable.

“We need theater to educate ourselves; to get us to look in the mirror,” Hanan said. “In this production the relationship dynamics are recognizable and we see that each of us are responsible for our own actions. In an age where we rarely meet face to face because of technology, this play really examines that basic ability to communicate.”

With only three roles in the production, simplicity is key and the text is highly emphasized. The play explores the delicate relationship between a grandmother, a mother and a daughter. Ultimately, characters who have been estranged put aside their differences and accept their mutual need for love and understanding.

“People have seen or experienced these relationships in their own lives,” Hanan said. “The main theme of striving to be loved and accepted, tempered with isolation is universal, and that is seen through the really subtle, intricate politics of relationships.”

The word “eleemosynary” is defined as pertaining to or devoted to charity. Hanan said she has seen nothing but devotion from the cast so far.

“This has been an incredibly short production time,” Hanan said. “Because of a change in the production calendar, we have had just four weeks to put this together. Auditions were done in the first week of school in only three days, and the cast has been amazing. It’s been very intense with a lot of work, and we have practiced six nights a week in some instances. The biggest issue to overcome has been the time limitation and the truncated rehearsal schedule.”

The show began Thursday and will run through Tuesday. Each showing is at 7:30 p.m. in Wilson 310 and is free with Racercard.

Caitlin Carrico, senior from Paducah, Ky., said she is excited the show has a longer runtime.

“I?don’t often get the chance to attend plays or anything like that because I am a nursing student,” she said. “This play is something I’m really excited about and I’m hoping to attend. The story sounds like something that I?could relate to on one level or another, plus it’s free so it shouldn’t be much of a stretch for students to go.”

Hanan said she believes theater is important in any community, with or without a college.

“Theater is wonderful for a community. In this case we address the positive and negative aspects of communication,” Hanan said. “Sometimes we get stuck in what has happened to us before, and in this play we get hope for our own lives. It’s never too late and all it takes is the ability to be vulnerable. It’s impossible to know someone until you take that risk, and in this instance the characters finally take that risk. The result is a whole new beginning, and I think we can find that in our own lives.”

Hanan suggested arriving at the theater 45 minutes to an hour early, as the theater only seats 60 audience members. For inquiries regarding the production call the ticket sales information booth at (270) 809-4421.

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