MSA students having fun prepping for upcoming play

Published 5:00 am Monday, September 20, 2004

The costumes are coming in, and the wigs are going on asMississippi School of the Arts drama students prepare for theirupcoming play, “She Stoops To Conquer.”

The play is scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 1-2 and Oct. 8-9 and 3p.m. Oct. 3 and 10. Performances will be held in the Theatre Studioof the Johnson Institute on the MSA campus.

Costumes are an important part of the 1773 play, written byOliver Goldsmith.

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“It’s basically a play about people being judges by the way theydress and how many mistakes that can lead to,” said Ken Bolinsky,MSA drama instructor.

Laughter filled the theater studio one day last week as studentstried on their wigs for the first time.

“We’re having so much fun,” said senior Marcus Roberts, of PortGibson.

Bolinsky said laughter has been a common sound duringrehearsals.

“Ever since we started rehearsing, the students haven’t stoppedlaughing,” he said. “It’s a fun play.”

Bolinsky has adapted the play to clarify Goldsmith’s text. Healso reworked the play to include more modern day references.

“Goldsmith wrote in Georgian English, the same language as ourDeclaration of Independence and Constitution. Formal in tone andhighly embellished, it’s somewhat unfamiliar to contemporary ears,”he said. “What I’ve endeavored to do is to maintain the rhythm andstyle of Goldsmith’s writing while simplifying its structure.”

Bolinsky said old doors from Enochs Hall will be used as part ofthe play’s set. Also, in a departure from last year’s play, whichwas theater in the round, stadium seating is planned for “SheStoops to Conquer.”

Twelve seniors, known as MSA “First Company,” are mounting theproduction. Juniors, the “Second Company,” are serving asunderstudies.

Bolinsky explained that most of the nation’s dramaconservatories recognize their students as companies or groups. AtNew York’s prestigious Juilliard School, for example, each newclass of drama students is designated as a “Group #.”

In addition to Roberts, other “First Company” members includeElaine Allen, Meridian; Timbre Brewer, Natchez; Langston Darby,Laurel; Stephen Davis, Brookhaven ; Carolyn Hardin, Bay St. Louis;Nick Hart, Bogue Chitto; Kerri Anne Key, Madison; Luralee Lelli,Laurel; Katie Redding, Biloxi; Amber Rhodes, Meridian; and ReedWhitney, Vicksburg.

Bolinsky said the production is being handle entirely by thetheater department.

“It’s all in the department,” he said. “No one not in the dramadepartment is involved.”

Seating is limited and tickets can be purchased at the CherokeeStreet entrance on the day of performance or, in advance, throughthe MSA Foundation by visiting the Y-Hut or by calling (601)823-1300.