Editor’s Note: This press release was edited by Arts and Entertainment Editor Sarah Wallace
From May 1-4, Kalamazoo College, the talents of Kalamazoo students will be on display for the College Theatre Arts Department’s Senior Performance Series.
The Performance Series includes two one act plays: How Miss Long Beach Became Miss Long Beach, an original work written by junior Alejandro Castillo and directed by senior Amy Jimenez and Eugene Ionesco’s The Chairs, directed by junior Grace Gilmore.
Playwright Alejandra Castillo is from Los Angeles, CA, and writes about a 16-year-old latina who is torn between pleasing her mother and competing in a beauty pageant or staying true to her tomboy ways. Castillo describes her plays as an exploration of femininity and womanhood in Latina culture. Director Amy Jimenez thinks many people will be able to relate to the play’s themes.
“Although this play speaks to the latina experience to some extent, it is definitely relevant to all female experiences because it deals with issues of identity, sexuality, family, and the ideology of beauty,” said Jimenez.
The second play sets the tone a little differently in Eugene Ionesco’s absurdist tragic farce, The Chairs. For much of the play, two main characters, the Old Man and the Old Woman, are expecting the arrival of an Orator that supposedly holds a great message for humanity. In preparation for the guest, they frantically arrange the chairs for a series of invisible guests. Director Grace Gilmore adds her ideas on the play’s meaning.
“The Chairs forces us to imagine a world where the meaning of life is undefinable… and where what we say is not always what we mean and yet when we look closer we realize this world is not so different from our own,” said Gilmore.
The shows run Thursday, May 1 at 7:30 p.m, Friday and Saturday, May 2 & 3 @ 8:00 p.m., and Sunday, May 4 @ 2:00 p.m. in the Dungeon Theatre in the Light Fine Arts Building on the campus of Kalamazoo College. All tickets at the door are $5 (Thursday is Pay-What-You-Can night).