3rd Act Productions creates a ‘Wonder of the World’ onstage

Written by Emilie Kefalas 

Photographed Lucii Artigas Viramontt

Audiences are guaranteed a laugh this weekend thanks to the comedic adventures within David Lindsay-Abaire’s play, “Wonder of the World.” Directed by second-year performing arts MFA student Robbie Distasio, the show opens this Friday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m. and runs through Saturday, Feb. 18 at 11 p.m. at the Mondanaro Theater in Crites Hall.

The show, from concept to production and design to direction, is produced through 3rd Act Productions. The student-run organization is not operated by SCAD but by students from all interests and backgrounds, from furniture design to film and television, according to Distasio. Seeing early concepts design come to life in the Mondanaro has been a rewarding payoff for Distasio and his cast and crew’s efforts.

“We have people from all walks of life collaborating on this,” Distasio said. “When it comes together with the tech and lights and everything, it’s so cool. You work so hard for over two months, and it comes together beautifully.”

“Wonder of the World’s” story follows a woman, Cass (Georgia Nicholas), as she heads to Niagara Falls to fulfill forgotten life goals. Throughout the show, Cass meets and engages with an ensemble of wacky characters. Distasio is no stranger to his material, because he was involved with the show during his undergraduate years at Saint Louis University.

“I actually did the show in undergrad, but I was deck crew, so I never got to actually see the show,” Distasio said. “But I always heard people laughing at it backstage, so this was exciting to come back to and revisit it.”

Distasio’s favorite character of the eight in the show is Karla (Mary May), a private detective, and in terms of the creative process, he loves one-on-one time with his cast.

“My favorite part is when we get to sit down and do table reads,” Distasio said. “We started workshopping this before winter break. We started talking about it, I wanna say the week before winter break. Then they auditioned the first week of class [this quarter].”

Admission to see “Wonder of the World” is free, and the show clocks in at about 1 hour and 45 minutes, with a 15 minute intermission. Distasio encouraged students to come watch the show this weekend for a laugh break.

“It’s really funny, and everyone wants to laugh right now.” Distasio said. “You’ll be laughing the entire time. A lot of noble actors have done the show. It’s great writing, great actors if I do say so myself, and it’s different types of humor.