Intuitons will present Suicide in B Flat next week at Houston Hall Auditorium, and the two women directors of the play promise to bring a fresh perspective to this little-known psychological melodrama. Playwright, actor and director Sam Shepard has charmed theater audiences worldwide with his esoteric and provocative slices of Americana, and the production's co-directors, College sophomores Alexandra Lopez and Carolyn Kelson said they are trying to put a new face to Shepard's play. Dual directorship is fairly rare in theater at the University, but according to Lopez, it was essential to do complete justice to the show. "We couldn't do it without each other," Lopez enthused. "We work well together, we bounce ideas off each other and we complement each other well. We are the same person." Suicide is definitely a case of sisters doing it for themselves, and Lopez said she is proud that women are running the show. One example of the duo's wielding power over the co-ed cast is their coercing College freshman Michael Breslow into growing a beard for the show. "They made me grow facial hair," Breslow admitted. "They forced me." Described by Lopez as "one long one-act," Suicide in B Flat is centered around Niles, a frustrated musician struggling against himself and his society. "He's struggling against the things he's built up inside himself," explained the show's producer, College sophomore Debra Goodfader. "Sam Shepard based the character of Niles around Hamlet, in that he is essentially wrestling with his own psyche." The play revolves around Niles' thought processes, but the directors maintain that they give the play a refreshing female perspective. "I think it's important that it's two women directing a show which is mostly about a man," said Kelson. "The play could give a very misogynistic view of the women characters." "Because of the way it was originally produced at Yale 15 years ago, the women characters were not half as strong or as intense as we have made them," added Lopez. Suicide features an original jazz score composed and performed by College senior Cameron Smith. "The play is like a musical overture, because Shepard wrote it in the style of a jazz improvisation," Lopez explained. "A lot of the strength lies in the music, and what Cameron came up with was brilliant." Describing the show was a difficult task for the cast. "It's not the easiest thing in the world," admitted College senior Jonathan Mattingly. "There's the surface storyline, but there's a lot of hidden meaning. It's obvious that there's a lot more going on." "It's very psychological," expanded Jonathan Morein, a student in the College. "It's about artistic stagnation, the stagnation of the individual and a reflection of the stagnation of the nation itself." Perhaps College junior Mike Pomerantz summed up the play best. "In a nutshell, the show is comic with a touch of manic incomprehensibility," he said. Intuitons will present Suicide in B Flat in Houston Hall Auditorium from Wednesday April 3 through Saturday April 6, each day at 8 p.m. Tickets are available on Locust Walk or at the door for $5.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.