“Spoon River Anthology:” The Little Theatre’s Latest Production

Students participate in an enriching play that includes themes of war, poverty, religion, and marriage. Photo courtesy of Sacred Heart University Theater Arts Program.

By Lauren Finan

Staff Reporter

On Thursday, March 16 Sacred Heart University’s Theatre Arts Program is bringing Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology” to the Little Theatre.

Conceived, adapted and arranged by Charles Aidman, the play takes place in Spoon River, Ill. and follows the lives of 60 different individuals.

“It takes place in the town graveyard and the story is told by the ghosts of the people who used to live in Spoon River,” said junior Katherine Horne. “You get to hear about their lives, about the community and about each character’s story.”

The 60 characterizations are portrayed by four actors; Horne, freshman Liam O’Donnell, junior Patrick Robinson and junior Jordan Norkus who is also the Arts and Entertainment Editor for the Spectrum.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge. Playing almost 20 different characters in one show is incredibly challenging and I have never done anything like it,” said Horne. “I am really looking forward to finding the heart in all 20.”

Casting for “Spoon River Anthology” began in January, leaving the actors with only a few weeks to prepare.

“In rehearsals we start with character work because finding the character is the most important part,” said Horne. “We run the scenes over and over again with the director, changing something each time until it’s right.”

The cast and crew have different ways of preparing for opening night. The cast continues to rehearse and crew members work behind the scenes by creating the lights, sound, costumes, and hair and makeup.

“During the performances, I will be in the light and sound booth calling the show which means that I give the signal for when sound and light cues are supposed to occur,” said sophomore Matthew Henshaw, stage manager of the production.

“Spoon River Anthology” includes themes of war, poverty, religion and marriage. The program’s campaign for the show, “What’s the Story of Your Life,” emphasizes how everyone has their own story.

“The show is about what it means to live a life,” said freshman Justin Weigel, producer of the production. “I am mainly excited to see how the cast has grown over the last few weeks since the beginning.”

Although the show is considered a play, there are also songs and musical interludes performed by the cast members and a live guitarist.

“This show has so many surprises,” said Horne. “From the set, the acting, and to the storyline itself.”

The set for the production is something that Sacred Heart’s Theatre Arts Program has never done before. It will be a theatre-in-the-round, where the audience surrounds the entire stage.

“I’m excited for opening night,” said Henshaw. “To have them perform in front of
an audience for the first time and have everything come together to create a fantastic performance.”

After weeks of preparation, everyone involved in “Spoon River Anthology” are ready for opening night.

“[The audience] can absolutely expect a rollercoaster,” said Horne. “But they can also expect to leave with a smile.”

“Spoon River Anthology” opens on Thursday, March 16 at 8 p.m. in the Little Theatre. Additional performances will be held March 17 through March 19 and March 23 through March 26. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night showings begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 3 p.m.

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