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Student-designed production opens theatre season

September 26, 2012

Student designers for the fall production God of Carnage have been burning the candle at both ends to get the play ready to premiere next Thursday, Oct. 4. From set design to lighting to costumes, every aspect of the production design is student-run.

God of Carnage has been an opportunity for student designers to put what they learn in the classroom into practice.  For TDMS (theatre, dance, and media studies) majors who focus primarily on acting, the play has also been a chance to explore a different side of theater production.

Honors term student Matthew Porter’12 has taken full advantage of this opportunity. “It’s been interesting blending the tech side of theatre after having studied acting for so long,” he says. “As an actor, you don’t realize how much precision goes into design and tech. Actors get scripts and do what they’re told.”

Student designers have embraced the unique challenges this production presents, from costume malfunctions to working with time constraints.

Hannah Cohen’14 and Katherine Hagberg’14 are the head costume designers. Hannah, who has been involved in costuming and design since her freshman year of high school, has co-designed costumes for many Beloit productions. “This play was challenging!” she admits. “It’s hard to find costumes that can take the kind of abuse this play requires!”

While the play has been a chance for TDMS majors to gain tangible experience in their field, Director Amy Sarno, associate professor of theatre arts, emphasizes that “the Beloit College theatre program is open to everyone and we encourage students—regardless of disciplinary major—to get involved in the parts of performance they love.”

Students agree that the hard work is worth the payoff. Stage management and theatre design major Danielle Rabold’14 has enjoyed the challenges that come with being the lead set designer for the production.

“It feels like the show will never open,” Rabold says. “But the production team is rushing headfirst to opening night, and there is always something new that has to get done. It’s exhilarating and stressful and totally worth it.”

God of Carnage premieres next Thursday (Oct. 4) at 8 p.m. in the Kresge Theatre. Admission is $8.50 ($5 for seniors; $4 for students).  The box office opens at 7 p.m. on performance nights; you can also order tickets by calling the box office at (608) 363-2755.