As we pass the halfway mark of the semester and the midterm jitters settle in the student body’s collective gut, students are reminded that academics is not the only experience to be had in college.
The Murray State theater department is gearing up for a spectacle to set April alight. The man in charge, taking up a tremendous task as head director, is Daryl Phillipy, assistant professor in the college of Humanities and Fine Arts, who is set to tackle the madness that is theater for this semester’s play “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare.
“The Tempest” is set on an island and treachery soon wreaks havoc on all its magical inhabitants. The main character, Prospero, is a magician of sorts, using his magic throughout his ensuing adventures. Without giving too much away, a collection of plots and subplots weave their way into forming one story that reaches all the way up to royalty.
The story, though, is one that has been told before and best left to the actors that will undoubtedly bring each and every character to life. A note that strikes closer to home is the experiences our very own Murray State students have in the creation of such a piece of art.
One particular student has been raving about his experience in the play. Logan Sapp, junior from Owensboro, Ky., is set to play Caliban, the character some would see as the antagonist, though the young thespian would say differently. Sapp explained his character quite simply.
“He’s a monster,” says Sapp, “but he’s trying to learn to be human.”
Later, he spoke on the experience of performing as a whole, as well as on his character’s portrayal.
“It’s fun (being the bad guy) because you usually don’t get the chance to be mean,” said Sapp.
This young actor is no stranger to Shakespeare, either, having performed in several other Shakespearian plays, including “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
This play in particular has been more taxing on the technical side, though, according to Sapp. He explains his character as a “gross fish monster.” Unlike most characters, who achieve their individuality through unique blends of makeup and prosthetics, Sapp will be donning a fully covering head mask and will most likely have to be completely shaven face, as well as sporting a freshly shaven, bald head to allow the mask to fit properly.
The cast’s closeness was a subject Sapp commented particularly cheerfully on.
“It’s just great chemistry,” he said. Above all else the actors and actresses are friends.
Every play has its depth and levels, and as evident by the enthusiasm a member of its cast, this play has already proven itself to be a success in the eyes of the many young thespians intent on taking up their roles.
Students and community members are asked to attend the Murray State theater department’s shining debut of “The Tempest.” Performaces will be held April 9-10 at the Robert E. Johnson Theater. Shows are set to run between 7:30 and 10 p.m. each night.
Story by Connor Jaschen, Contributing writer