Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 00:02
With scripts in hand, students and community members alike put on the faces of several different characters yesterday at Withycombe Hall, filling the stage with dramatic tones and gestures.
Auditions for “The Misanthrope” were held at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 18 and 19. The play premieres in May.
Mishele Mennett, a dance and pilates instructor, tried to relate to her desired character by connecting the character to her own personal experiences.
“I’ve spent most of my life on the stage,” Mennett said. “And I always thought, when I retire from dancing, I’ll try to get into community theater.”
If Mennett is cast for the play, she plans to prepare by going through the details of the script and personalities of the characters.
“I’ll probably read the entire play several times, and analyze each character, since they all create an interlocking web,” Mennett said. “You have to understand all of the other characters, even if you don’t talk to them.”
Molière, a French dramatist and writer of the play, satirizes the hypocrisies of French aristocratic society. “The Misanthrope” is a play about exaggerated social courtesies, the character Alcest’s refusal to conform.
“In short, Alceste takes himself far too seriously and gives those who would be insulted by his rejection cause to file suit,” said the play’s director Tinamarie Ivey. “In some ways, you might think that Alceste is holding his integrity to a higher standard than his peers, but in reality, he is creating more problems for himself than needed.”
“The Misanthrope” is written in rhyming verse, which can be a challenge for actors when trying not to fall into the repetitive rhythm of verse.
“I’ll be looking for individuals who want to explore the physicality that supports the style of the play,” Ivey said. “Also, an actor should be aware that the audition begins the moment they enter the theater. Their behavior and interactions are observed.”
Ivey is casting seven males and four females for the play.
For OSU student Ciana Ginochio, “The Misanthrope” could be her second play. Last spring, Ginochio was in the play “Paradise,” as the character Angelina.
Ginochio is hoping to get cast as Célimène, the center of attention and object of desire for several men. But Ginochio said she would be happy with any role.
While individuals like Mennett enjoy being on stage, Ginochio wants to employ theater arts as a method of improving her public speaking skills.
“I thought that [the play] would help me loosen up and get better at public speaking,” Ginochio said.
Audition callbacks will be held today, where Ivey will narrow down the possibilities for casting.
“During callbacks I get a chance to see how actors work together and which characters are best suited for the actors,” Ivey said.
“The Misanthrope” will show at 7:30 p.m. on May 9-11 and 17-18, and at 2 p.m. on May 19 at the Withycombe Hall main stage.
Katherine Choi, news reporter