The Department of Theater Arts presents The Domino Effect – The Lawrentian
The Department of Theater Arts at Lawrence University performed The domino effect from Thursday May 20. Photo by Alana Melvin.
Last weekend, the Department of Theater Arts at Lawrence University presented their version of The domino effect, a play written by Fin Kennedy. The production was directed by Kathy Privatt and directed by junior Riley Seib.
The play, performed at the Stansbury Theater on campus, is set in Hamlets, London, and follows the life of a girl named Amina who refuses to speak, played by senior Lexi Praxl and sophomore Frankie Sobel. Amina grows up with her mother, Nibijah, played by sophomore Madeline Guest, as well as her father, Samit, played by freshman Jon Winkler. Amina’s father is a watchmaker and struggles to keep the family afloat. In turn, Amina’s mother abandons the two to go to work in America.
Exploring how a small action can lead to a series of unfortunate events, like a frightened fox causing a butcher to lose two fingers, The domino effect deals with the themes of time, family and unintended consequences. Along with a well-defined acting and storytelling, the production also featured an impressive set of gigantic dominoes and a video screen, designed by Aaron Sherkow. The costumes in the play, designed by Isabel Kelly, were mostly uniform and simplistic, but also used impressive and intricate fox and sheep costumes, as well as reflective capes. Movement was also an important aspect of the production, as the actors, all playing the role of narrators, had to perfectly synchronize their lines with their actions. Additionally, detailed footwork aligned with video effects was a prominent feature of the show.
Sobel, who plays Older Amina, as well as Narrator, Fox and Teacher, comments on the multiple roles the cast took on, saying, “I think going from being a narrator to being unable to communicate with words was a really cool experience. I forgot how much I trust words in my everyday life and being able to let that go and just “be” was really fun to explore on stage.
The domino effect, featuring detail-oriented aspects of speech and movement, was a show full of complex theatrical elements colliding. Each performer had an important and crucial role for the overall function of the play. Noticing his favorite aspect of the production, Sobel says, “My absolute favorite thing about The domino effect was the overall element of the show. Being able to build friends on stage knowing that everyone is supporting each other was amazing. ”
Live theater has clearly been different this year than in previous years. Fortunately, the theater department was able to continue the performances throughout this school year with radio broadcasts during the fall term, plays written by students during the winter term and The domino effect this term. All performers were masked during production and seats in the theater were socially distanced. Sobel, a theater major, mentions the challenges artists have faced this year due to the pandemic: “Probably the biggest challenges with COVID-19 are finding ways to navigate a production in order to protect everyone. world. But to be completely honest, the longer this pandemic has gone on, the easier it has been to do theater and it is incredibly rewarding to be able to share stories with people, ”says Sobel.
The university production of The domino effect has another significance, as the show was also playwright Grace Krueger’s Senior Experience project for the Theater Arts Major. Krueger’s senior experience was titled “Small Actions, Big Effects: Diversity and The domino effect, A dramaturgical analysis. A poster featuring the work of Krueger Senior Experience was displayed in the theater lobby for viewers to read.
To sum up the meaning of the performance, Privatt’s ‘Director’s Note’, written in the production’s schedule, states, “While choosing to tell this story here at Appleton, I took Fin Kennedy’s words to heart. on his goals as a playwright: “I don’t” I don’t try to tell people what to think, but I want to give a platform to people and themes that most audiences don’t would not have access. “