This year on the SAU Mainstage, we have been fortunate enough to produce Dakota Jones and the Search for Atlantis, an original work by SAU student Aaron Randolph '12, which was a great success. The next mainstage show is another Randolph original entitled "The Plagiarists," and the show is well on its way to being fully realized.
During Randolph's first undergraduate experience here at SAU, he collaborated with professor (and now Theatre Department chair) Cory Johnson on an adaptation of "James and the Giant Peach," for which Johnson adapted the script and Randolph wrote the songs. Randolph's second experience having his own work performed at SAU took place in the fall semester of 2010, as a staged reading of his script Green River in the Studio Theatre. But this year is quite a big one for Randolph at SAU, with two of his original scripts being produced on the mainstage.
"Working on ‘The Plagiarists' is much different than Dakota," says Randolph, "If the children's musical was ridiculous, it was fine because it was a children's musical. This cannot be ridiculous." In addition, Randolph has been working on The Plagiarists script for much longer, and with no idea that it would be produced. Randolph is humbled to have been given this incredible opportunity. What has Randolph taken from these experiences thus far? "I've learned that you can't just be a playwright in a basement alone. It's truly a collaborative art."
Randolph is thrilled to see the actors taking the characters he created in writing and running with them, making them realer than he had ever imagined. While this is definitely an educational experience, Randolph is appreciating it on a different, deeper level. "It was a surreal moment to hear Kris Eitrheim explaining his set design for my show, to have Cory talking about her intentions for the show ... I've been looking up to these people for so long."
Cory Johnson is directing The Plagiarists and it is her first time directing an entirely original script. "It's thrilling to have input beyond just interpretation," she says. Working with a new script allows discoveries to go further than with a published script, since you have the ability to take the discovered ideas and integrate them into the script itself. "It is truly liberating to have the ability to change lines to suit discoveries."
The show will be produced in Allaert Auditorium in the Galvin Fine Arts Center at 7:30pm on Friday, Feb. 24th and Saturday, Feb. 25th as well as Sunday the 26th at 3pm! Tickets are $11 for adults, $9 for faculty/staff/senior citizens, $7 for students, $6 for groups and free for current SAU students! Call (563) 333-6251 for reservations.
We wish Aaron, Cory, the cast and crew of "The Plagiarists" the best of luck in their endeavors and anxiously await the show!
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