St. Cloud State University students put on their performance of British playwright Caryl Churchills’ “Far Away”. The show ran for one week in late November at the PAC center stage. The show is produced through an arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Student actors and stage crew alike were able to try their hand at producing a very tricky play considering the whole show is hard to follow and quite abstract. “Far Away” is a modern theatrical production that relies on themes of fear, confusion, and corruption. The show itself is performed in three short acts, each portraying the same characters, but different stories and plot lines.
Although the show is quite confusing to follow because of it’s abstract themes, it still is an amazing performance by the theatre and film studies department. However, the show demands viewers to think about the world in a new perspective.
In a world full of theatre productions based in the 1900’s, it’s refreshing to see a modern play.
Considering that the production only runs off of three actors/characters, the students that performed in the show did excellently. Students Jessica Peters, Katherine DeGroot, and Jordan Flaherty are Harper, Joan, and Todd respectively. Although the show runs off of very few characters, it is still able to give the audience a satisfying performance.
The production of the show including the lighting and stage design is incredible that helps give the performance the unsettling and creative edge it needs. “Far Away” contains projected images onto small backdrops which gives the show lots of professionalism. The lighting creation gives extra drama to the most unsettling scenes in the show. Lighting and projection designer Tony Stoeri and Maxwell Collyard, respectively, do fantastic work on the show. The scenic design of professor Dr. Jeffrey Bleam also stands out immediately to the audience during the show.
The struggle of the theatre program
Theatre is a “lifelong passion” to Far Away’s director and theatre professor Vladimir Rovinsky, according to the St. Cloud Times. Although the show is amazing, this show has a melancholy note knowing that this will be one of Rovinsky’s last shows at SCSU after being affected by the recent retrenchment at the University. Although the number of theatre majors at St. Cloud State may be few, the involvement in the program is still prospering, with over thirty students and faculty contributing to the performance.
This show is a stand out example that proves the department is capable of doing amazing work, even when it’s under pressure. The show was attended by both students and faculty, and shows that theatre is far from being dead.
The next steps
Although “Far Away” is over now, the theatre program will continue with more shows in the spring. Up next is William Shakespeare’s “Measure for Measure” to be performed in late March/early April along with the show “Animal Tales” in late April. In addition, the theatre department will still be offering various classes for the spring semester.
Sydney is a Mass Communications major with a focus in Creative Media Production and a minor in Writing & Rhetoric Studies and will be graduating in Spring of 2021. Sydney is UTVS News Director and the music director at KVSC. She is also a nationally qualified speaker on the speech and debate team. In her free time she loves to play music, watch SCSU hockey games, and play dorky video games with her friends. Connect with her on social media @sydneyisawolf.