This Thursday, May 11, the Performing Arts Department will present the Pulitzer-Prize winning show “The Flick,” one of two Annie Baker plays set to premiere in the next two weeks. The second, “Circle Mirror Transformation,” will debut Thursday, May 18 at 8 p.m. and run through Sunday, May 21 at 3 p.m. at the Mondanaro Theater in Crites Hall.
Performing arts professor Sharon Ott, who has been at SCAD for ten years, is directing both shows. “The Flick” centers around three employees in a run-down theater in Massachusetts. The show will run Thursday, May 11 through Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. also at the Mondanaro Theater.
Ott said the decision to perform two award-winning works by the same author in two weeks marks a first for the performing arts department.
“The idea of producing these two plays in a ‘repertory’ situation is only possible because we are staging ‘The Flick’ using the usual audience seating as our ‘stage’ and putting our audience on the usual Mondanaro stage on bleachers,” Ott said.
Annie Baker, a 36-year-old playwright from Boston, wrote both plays in her late twenties and early thirties. According to Ott, Baker’s signature hyper-naturalism captures the rhythm and feeling of contemporary society.
“‘The Flick’ is written for four younger actors,” Ott said. “Three of the characters are meant to be in their 20’s and one in his early 30’s, so it is a perfect play for college-age actors and audience members. ‘Circle Mirror Transformation’ has more of a range of character ages and types, but both plays capture the essence of people in the midst of change.”
Ott said she is very grateful to her student cast and crew, many of whom double roles and duties for both shows. For example, two actors, Performing Arts M.F.A. student Jaron Carlson and B.F.A. student Georgia Nicholas appear in both plays, a feat never previously attempted at SCAD.
“Production Design student Andres Poch designed the scenic environments for both plays, and Katelyn Jones has designed the costumes for both plays,” Ott said. “Lighting design duties were split between Production Design seniors B. Sadley (“The Flick”) and Taylor Firth- Brown (“Circle Mirror Transformation”). Sound design major Ryan Sullivan designed the sound for ‘Circle Mirror Transformation.'”
Ott said she has directed and rehearsed for both shows simultaneously alongside a talented group of assistant directors led by Arts Administration M.A. student, Lindsay Pike.
“Without Lindsay and my other talented Assistant Directors Claire Price, John King, Kim Stone and Jeremy Sykes, and my two stage managers, Paige Howe and Lexi McKay, this ambitious venture would not be possible,” Ott said.
Tickets for “The Flick” range from $5 for SCAD Card holders, $8 for non-SCAD students, seniors and military and $10 for the public. The opening show Thursday evening, May 11 is free for SCAD Card holders. Those interested in attending or curious about ticket availability for “The Flick” or “Circle Mirror Transformation” should visit savannahboxoffice.com.
“I encourage all students to come to the Mondanaro Theater and see both plays,” Ott said. “Annie Baker will entertain you, move you and you will find it really fun to see very contrasting plays set in a theater space that completely transforms itself.”