Theatrix presents 'Wildflower' Dec. 4-7
calendar icon01 Dec 2014Lincoln, Neb.--Theatrix, a student-run theatre company within the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film, concludes its Fall season with “Wildflower” by Lila Rose Kaplan and directed by senior Jessica Debolt of Mahomet, Illinois.
Performances are Dec. 4-6 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. in the Lab Theatre, which is located on the 3rd floor of the Temple Building at 12th and R sts. Tickets are $6 and available in advance at unltheatretickets.com or at the door.
Featuring a cast of five people and performed in the round, “Wildflower” begins as Erica and her son Randolph seek a new life as they run from “a very difficult man.” Their new home is Crested Butte, Colorado, home of the annual Wildflower Festival. It is summer, a time of youth and magic. But new places mean new people and new problems.
“It’s about adolescence and sexual awakening at a time when not a lot of information is given about that sort of thing by the powers that be or the adults around,” Debolt said. “It follows the story of Erica and Randolph who are avoiding their past.”
Debolt describes it as a “whimsical tale.”
Senior theatre performance major Tony Thomas, of Vermillion, South Dakota, plays James, a forest ranger who has lived in Crested Butte all his life.
“’Wildflower’ is a shorter play, our runs have been lasting only about an hour and a half, but there’s a lot that goes on in that short amount of time,” he said.
“There are a lot of fun bits in it,” Debolt said. “It’s very funny, I think. And it has some darker moments woven in.”
William Voelker, a junior theatre performance major from Lincoln, plays Mitchell, a character who moved to the town 10 years ago from New York.
“He is a very friendly and welcoming person that seems to have his life all together and takes on a mentorship role to those around him,” Voelker said.
He said audiences should expect a quick-paced show with lots of humor.
“’Wildflower’ is a play that grabs your attention early and holds it for the entirety of the play,” Voelker said.
Debolt says the story is told in a subtle way.
“It doesn’t really hit you in the head right away what it’s all about,” she said. “It has a lot of room for a lot of play in it.”
Working in the round is a new challenge for Thomas.
“I’m really excited to work in the round for this production,” he said. “That means the audience is watching the show from all four sides. I’ve never worked in the round before, so it’s a fun, new challenge for me.”
This is Debolt’s debut as a Theatrix director.
“I love directing, and part of the reason I came to this school in the first place was because Theatrix existed,” she said. “It was a place where undergraduate directors got to do a fully produced play, which is fantastic. Theatrix puts out really great work, and it’s something all of the students can collaborate on, which I think is invaluable to get student collaboration going.”
Thomas said Theatrix provides good experience for students.
“Theatrix is incredibly important because it puts all of the onus on the students,” he said. “It’s student acted, directed, built, costumed—everything. We will succeed only if we put in all the work that we can, in all aspects, which is great to get that experience.”
Voelker said student collaboration is important.
“Theatrix provides students with a chance to dive into projects and take chances they wouldn’t always have the option of taking,” he said. “I also get to work with some actors I’ve never worked with before, which is always helpful.”
Everyone in the cast has been open to the process, Debolt said.
“I have a lot of really good actors in my cast,” she said. “We did a lot of table work at the beginning of the process just to get on the same page about the show, and everyone was really excited and willing to do that. We’ve had a lot of creative things happen already. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
For more information, visit https://www.unl.edu/theatrix.