33 Variations preview – Thursday, Nov. 14

Dakota Baggett


Thursday, Nov. 14, will be opening night for Theatre Wesleyan’s second production of the season, “33 Variations”.

The play is focused on two people that share a passion for music, and they even share similar struggles in their lives, but the interesting part is that these two are separated by over 200 years.33Variations-web-100x148

The play focuses around Ludwig Van Beethoven, played by freshman theatre major Timothy Crabb; and Katherine Brandt, played by senior theatre major Jessica LaVilla, who is a modern day musicologist and  has a passion to understand the famous composer. The link that ties them together is music of course, but also the fact that both characters have physical disabilities that they overcome.

Director and Associate Professor of Theatre Bryan Stevenson says there are many reasona why he chose this play.

“I was intrigued by the music and the people,” he said. “The play is intriguing and challenging because of the music and the relationships of the characters. The way the author wrote this play, the show flows seamlessly, time periods melt together, and worlds overlap.”

To think of a play about Beethoven it would be impossible to get away without having his music in the show, so of course there will be a piano on stage, with a live pianist: Dr. McDonald.

Senior technical theatre major and costume designer for the play, Katie Dean, also explained how hard the costume department has been working.

“The two time periods did make it more challenging,” she said, “but the most difficult part was how many costume changes there were for each character. The play takes place over the course of a year, so there were several costume changes for each character.

“Deciding on the wardrobe for each character takes lots of research and collaboration with the director,” Dean said. “We had to decide what kind of style each character would have if they were real people, and then stay true to that individual style throughout the entire show.

“There are seven characters and about 10 costume changes each,” she said. “All of the costumes are still not done. We’ve been working on them since the cast list was first posted and our work won’t be done until opening night. And even then things will undoubted have to be repaired and replaced through the run of the show.

“This show is a great demonstration of the many talents of our department,” Dean said. ”It showcases performance, dialect work, creative set design, costumes from different time periods, and many other technical designs. “


“33 Variations is a fun and excited experience I have had the opportunity to work on with a great script, crew and company,” said senior theatre major Bradley Gray. “Being the scene designer it is a pleasure to tell this story with a wonderful group of people.”

Obviously this is a challenging production to pull off, and it is apparent that the Theatre Wesleyan Team is working their extremely hard to polish up every last detail of this production and to put on a good show.

Sophomore technical theatre major Chris Willmer is the assistant set designer but also plays the character of Anton Diabelli, a music publisher from Beethoven’s period, who writes the Waltz and sends it to multiple composers for them to write their own variations of the piece.

“He is Beethoven’s music publisher,” Willmer said, “but he’s he is really just in it for the money and is really kind of a selfish dick.

““I am having such a blast in this show,” he said. “It is one of the best shows I have ever been in. This is my first experience with Bryan Stevenson as a director and I absolutely love it. This show will appeal to all audiences, young and old. I can’t wait to see everybody there!”

It sounds like there will be a wide range of characters each with their own complex personalities, and they will add multiple layers to the relationships between each other.

The cast is enthused about what seems to be a very promising play; Theatre Wesleyan Team will be showing off its talent by bringing to life an intriguing, entertaining, and maybe even emotional, challenging script.

The play opens Thursday, Nov. 14, and runs through Nov 24. The Box Office will open on Tuesday, Nov. 12, with hours Monday-Friday from 1:30-5 p.m. and one hour before curtain on performance days.  For reservations, please call 817-531-4211 or visit the Dan Waggoner Annex, Room 100A.  For more information, the Department of Theatre can be contacted at 817-531-5867.