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The Spoon River Project

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Article by Kate Citrone

Photo Courtesy of www.performing-arts-interpreting-alliance.com

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This semester our schools Theater Program is putting on the show The Spoon River Project which will be opening on November 16th. The shows director Dr. Bruce Partin said he was immediately interested in staging the play a year ago when he first became aware of the script.  The play is based on The Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, and it has been adapted from verse by Tom Andolora.  He transformed the verse into dramatic units with music, including hymns, popular songs, and dance music from the late 19th century, the time in which the play takes place.  It is structurally different than previous shows Dr. Partin has directed, as it is composed of about 50 solos.

There were two days of auditions and from now on the rehearsals will go on 4 or 5 days a week up until the shows opening.  Each Cast member has different responsibilities and therefore will attend rehearsals The play consists of 11 actors and two rehearsal assistants, but it will include many students in the running crew who would work on scenery, lighting, and costuming.  The students acting in the play will also have to dedicate numerous hours a week to learning their lines, and stage technicians have already begun work on the various backstage preparations that need to be complete and in place before the show is set to begin.

  Assistant Stage Manager Allison Smith ’18 says, “It’s different than any other show they’ve done while I’ve been here; it’s eerie, it’s funny, it’s sad, and everything in between honestly”.  Allison is excited to begin work on the show, she has very much enjoyed her time in the Roanoke Theater Program and she says this show is different than any other production she has been involved in.  Dr. Partin explained some reasons he loves the program here, and one of the most important ones was that it is all inclusive.  It is not limited to Theater majors, in fact, this show in particular has students from Literary Studies, Physics, Computer Science, History, and many others.  Bringing the abilities of people from all sorts of backgrounds makes the show unique, adding to it’s already interesting qualities. The Spoon River Project will certainly be a show to see here at Roanoke College.