Correcting the actors’ English accents, Department Chair of Theater and Dance, Ellen Margolis, helps them with perfecting standard British dialect.
This year, Margolis has decided to direct the play “Smash” by Jeffrey Hatcher. The plot-driven British comedy is based off of George Bernhard Shaw’s novel “An Unsocial Socialist.”
The play deals with a man whose destiny is to bring socialism to England in the early 1900s.
“I love the fact that the play is talking about economics and politics in a really accessible, theatrical way. Everyone has a stake in these big ideas and the female characters are really strong and fun,” Margolis said. “It feels like a slam dunk for us; it’s very engaging and afterwards we will have conversations where the audience hangs around and can ask us questions.”
And that audience response is exactly what Margolis is looking forward to most.
“It’s always so exciting to hear what they are taking away from the show and what their questions are,” Margolis said.
For senior Sierra Miller, she is looking forward to becoming one with her character, a 60-year-old headmistress at an all girls’ college.
“This is the first play that I’ve ever been in where my character is in a wheelchair and I’ve been acting since I was a kid,” Miller said.
“I am literally head and shoulders below everyone. Yet, in most cases, I’m the most powerful character in the room, so that’s my most exciting challenge.”
The play will open on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. and there will also be a performance Saturday and Sunday of that first week as well as Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the following week.
And the bonds between actors and the director have already formed from rehearsals.
“I really like being a part of a cast,” senior Stephanie Landtiser said. “As a cast it’s a completely different bond and you work together and actually communicate together, it’s a lot of fun.”
Margolis could not agree more. She credits the positive cast for how well rehearsals have gone so far.