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UT theatre fall preview

BY VERONICA SANSUR AND MATT WAGNER

UT’s Theatre program has been preparing for a hectic semester. With three shows for the fall semester alone, the casts and productions have been busier than ever.

The first show will be As Bees in Honey Drown, a satirical comedy by Douglas Carter Beane. The play begins when a woman named Alexa Vere de Vere, an ostentatious con artist, sets her eyes on a new target in mind: Evan Wyler, a  New York writer. The show is set to be on Oct. 12 at Falk Theater, and will stage a small cast of only six characters.

Ajilah McKnight, senior theatre major, is playing Vere de Vere, and says she loves the intimacy of having a small cast. McKnight has been in productions where the cast has not gelled well, but this group has a different kind of chemistry.

“I like that we’re all professional and get our work done but still joke around with one another. We laugh together a lot,” McKnight said.

Guys and Dolls will be shown on Nov. 16-19 at Falk Theater. The play tells the story of a high-rolling gambler, a puritanical missionary, a showgirl dreaming of the straight-and-narrow and a gambling game manager.

Ryan Widd, a junior theater major, will play Nicely Johnson, a role he played as a senior in high school. Widd is excited to revisit the role.

“I get a chance to tweak and revise and work it with a new audience, which will help me grow more and hopefully I can bring a new twist to this character that wasn’t there the first time,” Widd said.

The last play of Fall will be “The Progressive Murder Mystery”, a play performed and written entirely theater students. It will be shown in Reeves Theater on Dec. 8 and 9.

With regular rehearsals underway once again, Widd is exactic. Widd has performed in five productions at UT, including three with Paul Finocchiaro, professor of Theatre and the Director of Guys and Dolls. Widd says he feels comfortable with how Finocchiaro works.

“It makes it super easy to bounce ideas off each other and work as a cohesive team, rather than struggle to get out a good product,” Widd said.

Gershom Vacarizas, a senior musical theatre and management major, is a veteran to Falk Theatre productions has worked on six mainstage productions so far. Vacarizas is ecstatic for Guys and Dolls. He loves the cast and crew and says that the sky’s the limit for the production.  

“I am very confident that we are all going to work well with each other,” Vacarizas said. “With a mix of familiar faces as well as new ones. I’m excited to start working together.”

Finocchiaro loves what he has seen from all three shows. Finocchiaro loves his group and enjoys seeing new faces as well as familiar ones.

“The beauty of this is we have freshmen all the way down to graduating seniors in these productions,” Finocchiaro said.

There will be upcoming auditions for Very Potter Musical–A Harry Potter parody–and the chance to perform in UT’s comedy Gluten Free Improv this semester as well. An announcement will be made soon regarding dates.  

As Bees in Honey Drown will be playing from Oct. 12-15, Fall dance happening is from Oct. 25-27, and Guys and Dolls Nov. 16-19. All shows will be at the Falk Theatre. Wednesday-Saturday performances are at 8 p.m., while Sunday performances 2 p.m. All Theatre Productions are free to UT students, staff and faculty.

Veronica Sansur can be reached at veronica.sansur@spartans.ut.edu.

Matt Wagner can be reached at matthew.wagner2@spartans.ut.edu.

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