The theatre and dance department’s Fall 2016 production is “Cosi,” directed by theatre and dance department professor Al Schnupp. This series will follow the creation and production of “Cosi” and explore what making a student production is all about.
Auditions for the production were held Sunday, Sept. 25. The cast consists of 12 Cal Poly students. They will spend the next seven weeks putting together the show, which will premiere Nov. 10, and close Nov. 17.
“Cosi” is the story of a young student named Lewis and his help in the production of Mozart’s “Cosi fan tutte” during the Vietnam war. Lewis, desperate for work, agrees to produce the play with a group of patients from a mental institution. The play’s themes touch on mental health, love and relationships.
By the third rehearsal of “Cosi,” the first act of the show was almost completely blocked. Blocking is the process of staging the actors, giving them a chance to map out their movements in relation to other actors and the scene they’re in.
Schnupp took a very hands-on approach in his blocking, guiding actors to show them exactly how he wanted them to move. After talking through the movement, the actors ran through the scene several times. This allowed them to work the movements into their memories.
However, no run-through is the same. Each time an actor goes through a scene, small adjustments are made. Sometimes they’re suggestions by Schnupp and other times they are deliberate choices the performer feels would fit their character.
It’s not all serious business, though. There is chemistry between the student actors.
During the short breaks between scenes, they often talked and laughed. Mistakes were brushed off with humor. The camaraderie gives the ensemble a cohesive feeling, helping their performance in the long run.
Lewis will be performed by math and theatre sophomore Garrett Lamoureux. Previously seen in “Black Comedy” and “The Crucible,” Lamoureux is most looking forward to working with fellow students.
“It’s such a fun show environment,” Lamoureux said. “I am looking forward to working with everyone: the cast, our stage managers, Al.”
“I hope the actors will develop a good understanding of character, a deepening of their craft, what it means to work as an ensemble and I hope they experience the joy of performing in front of an audience,” Schnupp said.