The Collegian
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Students prepare for annual production "New Faces"

New Faces rehearsal, Tuesday, Sept 17th, 9pm.
Pictured left to right: Shelby Brown '12 (blue), Alyssa Davis '12 (red), Bryarly Richards '12 (turqoise shorts), Maggie Brown '10 (light blue), Jordan Stewart '12 (yellow), Nina Antani '10 (purple), Caitlin Smith '12 (grey pants).
New Faces rehearsal, Tuesday, Sept 17th, 9pm. Pictured left to right: Shelby Brown '12 (blue), Alyssa Davis '12 (red), Bryarly Richards '12 (turqoise shorts), Maggie Brown '10 (light blue), Jordan Stewart '12 (yellow), Nina Antani '10 (purple), Caitlin Smith '12 (grey pants).

First-year students at the University of Richmond will have their chance to make their debut as actors and as new students in the production "New Faces."

"New Faces" is an annual festival of one-act plays and musical performances presented by Alpha Psi Omega, a dramatic honors fraternity. The directors and producers of the event are members of Alpha Psi Omega. The directors of the plays are juniors Amy Szerlong, Chloe Bailey and Veronica Seguin and the producer is Paul Kappel, also a junior. Each director chose a short play from Broadway, all comedies, for the production.

Comedies were chosen because they require less time to put on, Kappel said. Putting the plays together is quick and easy and gives people that are new to theater, such as the mostly freshmen cast, a positive first encounter.

The event has evolved over the years because the students have always had complete control, Szerlong said. In previous years, the show has been alternatively more dance-based or more musical-based. This year it is a combination of theater and music.

"There aren't any rules," Kappel said.

The first play is "Drugs Are Bad," written by Jonathan Rand and directed by Szerlong. "Drugs Are Bad" is a satire of after-school specials and parenting in modern society, Szerlong said.

The parents in "Drugs Are Bad" have the opposite moral values of typical parents in today's society. For example, the parents scold their son for drinking milk instead of alcohol.

The second act, directed by Bailey, is "Forty to Life," written by Nina Shengold. The romantic comedy is a spoof on criminal justice shows. It is a mix between "Love Connection" and "Law & Order."

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The third and final act is a parody on southern values called "Y'all," directed by Seguin and written by Elizabeth Scales Rheinfrank.

Catesby Saunders, a freshman who will be playing the son in "Drugs Are Bad," decided to perform in "New Faces" for fun, he said. Preparation has included about an hour of rehearsal each day for two weeks.

Jordan Stewart, also a freshman, said she hoped to be in musicals performed at Richmond in the future. Stewart will play the mother in "Drugs Are Bad" and The Diva in the musical portion of "New Faces."

Four musical selections directed by sophomores Caitlyn Duer and Adam Ferguson will be in between each of the acts. The songs come from the Broadway plays "A Chorus Line," "Legally Blonde: The Musical," "Aida" and "Hairspray."

"New Faces" frequently sells out because friends of the cast members will come for support, Kappel said. The tickets are free and the show isn't that long -- it should last about an hour, he said.

"New Faces" will be preformed in the Cousins Studio Theatre in the Modlin Center for the Arts on Friday, Sept. 26 and Saturday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m. and again on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets must be reserved in advance.

Contact staff writer Alexandra Varipapa at alexandra.varipapa@richmond.edu

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