MVC to stage 'Plaza Suite'

Tuesday, February 12, 2002
Mary Michael and Matt Gordon

A little romance and a little comedy. That's what is on tap later this week around the Valentine's Day holiday at Missouri Valley College.

The Missouri Valley College theater department will perform Neil Simon's comedy, "Plaza Suite", on Feb. 14 and 15, at 7:30 p.m. each evening, in the Mabee Auditorium at no charge to the public.

The play consists of three acts, all of which will be directed and performed for the first time by MVC students. Each act consists of couples, but all in different situations.

The first act, "Visitor from Mamaroneck," will be directed by junior Jimilee Riley. It is about a suburban couple having its house painted. They stay in the Plaza Suite and end up in the same room they were in on their honeymoon more than 20 years ago.

Cast members include: Mary Michael as Karen Nash, Matt Gordon as Sam Nash, Nicole Hawkins as the bellhop, and Ashley McKay as Jean McCormack.

Act two, "Visitor from Hollywood," will be directed by sophomore Cay Hanna. This act presents a Hollywood producer who could not handle any of his three marriages. He wants a fresh start, so he calls a childhood sweetheart, who over the years grew to idolize him. She turns out to be more of a match than he bargained for.

Cast members include: Hawkins as the waiter, Brandon Lozano as Jesse Kiplinger, and Hillary Ford as Muriel Tate.

The third act, "Visitor from Forest Hills," will be directed by junior Charlotte Ahnefeld. It is about a daughter who has locked herself in the bathroom on her wedding day. Her parents struggle to get her to come downstairs to the ceremony.

Cast members include: Miah Leverette as Norma Hubley, Matt Galbreath as Roy Hubley, Gordon as Bordon Eisler, and McKay as Mimsey Hubley.

The three acts range in length from 30 minutes to about 45 minutes. The faculty advisor for the show is Diana Malan, associate professor of music and theatre. Technical director is Shannon Johnson, assistant professor of theatre. Bradley Reed, a Valley freshman, is designing lights, Demarcus Day will work the sound, Nicole Hawkins is in charge of costumes and John Winkle is the props manager.

The students have been working on this play since Jan. 14, practicing two to three hours a day, six days a week.

"It is the most stressful activity I've done in my life." Riley said. "The cast finds it tedious at times, but like sports, practice makes perfect."

The directors also have to do research for the plays. "You have to take many angles to achieve goals" Hanna said.

"This is the first time the main stage has been directed by the students," Ahnefeld said. She said if a student is chosen for the responsibility, a commitment must be made and they are expected to do whatever needs to be done.

Construction for an addition onto Mabee Auditorium is continuing, but a walkway will be made for public access to the front of the theatre.

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