BY DENA LIETZKE – CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Century College students exhibited a variety of talents for the local community this past weekend during the theater department’s annual student showcase. The show ran this past weekend, opening on Feb. 28 and running through March 1. The showcase is both directed and performed solely by Century students and comprised of musical acts, one-act plays and monologues.
Directing is an element of the theater few students have had a chance to explore. Many take the opportunity of the showcase because it is something they can try out on a smaller scale than directing an entire play.
“The best part about directing is being able to contribute to the theater, to see how my directing would impact the theater,” explained Aaron Holt of Taylors Falls, who directed Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe.
While Holt enjoyed his directing debut, he conceded to having some complex issues with the play he chose.
“The toughest part was the way the language was structured,” He said. “I realize it is the language from that time period, but it’s very hard to learn. You have to really slow down and work out the words that you are actually saying. It’s really taxing.”
He also performed V’s Introduction from “V for Vendetta” and a dance number which included a combination of juggling and clogging.
When asked about the unique choice of performance, Holt replied, “This is my last showcase before I transfer, and so I thought since I am doing one more clogging piece, I wanted to end it with a bang and leave it above the bar that I have usually done by several notches. I like Disney, I like clogging, and I just learned how to juggle, so I thought why not combine all three of them? I’m dressing up as Tron and dancing to the song, ‘Derezzed,’ by Daft Punk, and I have designed my costume to glow in black light.”
The clogging and juggling combination had its rough moments for Holt, but he felt triumphant in the end.
“There is a part where I take off the discs and juggle in the black light, and that’s been very difficult. In black light it’s very hard to see, but it’s really cool, and I have gotten a lot of positive feedback on it.”
Abreanna Koller of Minneapolis was delighted to be able to add her own ideas to her role of “Waitress” in “Philadelphia.”
“Don’t be afraid to speak up,” Koller advised. “If you want something to happen, tell the director, and they can work with you. Half of my costume was my idea.”
Pretending to be someone completely different from one’s everyday self is a fun aspect of performing in the showcase for many students.
“I like how opposite of me she is, because I’m very happy and I hug everyone,” Koller said. “When I play the waitress, (I have the attitude like) I just don’t want to be here right now.”
Scott Sebesta of Maplewood also enjoyed stepping outside his usual personality in his role as Mark in “Philadelphia.”
“When I first got the part, the director described him as sort of a Woody Allen, kind of loser character,” Sebesta said. “Nothing goes right for him, because he’s stuck in this zone where whatever he wants he can’t get. Everything just goes wrong for him. He is usually kind of a roll-with-the-punches guy, but eventually the punches get to him, especially during this scene of the play. It’s less self-pity, and it’s more of, ‘I’ve done it all, I want to go home, I need to go home.’”
“It’s fun to just take it and go over the top with it,” he added.
Century College’s student showcase displayed the culmination of the team work of students who love what they are doing. It’s an annual event which helps to give students the independence to use their creativity in the theater and let their talents shine.
Century College Theater Department’s next event is “Company,” written by Stephen Sondheim this coming April.
Dena Lietzke is a Stillwater resident and a student at Century College.