On Thursday, April 21, the fourth Senior Theatre Festival (STF) play, Coronodo, had its final dress rehearsal before a packed audience of Puget Sound students. As everyone squeezed onto the stage to watch a dramatic performance done in the round, excitement levels were at an all-time high.
The room was peppered with bright blue shirts worn by fellow members of the theatre community who had come to support the four seniors in their final undertaking. “It is the capstone project for theatre majors,” director Ella Wrenn, also a theatre major, said.
The play opens on a triangle stage with two lovers in one corner plotting to kill the female lover’s husband, and then it immediately jumps to another corner where a doctor and his patient are talking about their relationship.
Before that scene has ended, the audience’s focus is thrust toward a discussion between a father and his son in another corner of the stage. While the stage appeared to be a simple triangular boardwalk in the beginning, the quick changes and interesting lighting make it anything but plain.
In addition to some great lines and dramatic plot, the play had some comical moments. Noah Kaplan, who played one of the main characters, Will, did a particularly good job balancing the romantic jokes his character made with the cold and murderous mentality he displayed at the end.
The play highlighted the animalistic traits that manifest in people when they feel overwhelmed by love. “It is about people seeking the nature of love and how far we go in the heart wanting what it wants,” Wrenn said.
Overall, the production was a fantastic display of the students’ abilities to step up and fill roles they had never had to do independently. Wrenn could not be more proud of how well the shows went.
To put on the play is quite a rigorous project and involves a yearlong commitment to everything from selecting the play to taking leadership roles in making the production come to life. All of this is done collaboratively.
By the end of the first semester, every participant in STF must have a role that they “feel good about,” Wrenn said.
She went on to say, “It is the only time in your life where you get to pick the role that you play; I am beyond thrilled with the seniors that I am working with in Coronado. This role can mean something different to everyone.”
While directing an entire show was a new role for Wren, the theatre world was not. She has been in over 10 productions at Puget Sound, is president of the Senior Theatre Productions and has some prior directing experience. Wrenn’s passion is directing, and as Matthew Jackson told her recently, “I don’t think you will stop acting, but I don’t think you will be able to stop directing.” This enthusiasm is apparent both in the play and in they way she talks about the process of working with the actors.
“It is great to see these people do something that they have never done before and do it to the nth degree of awesome,” Wrenn said.
[PHOTO COURTESY/JESSE BALDRIDGE]