Theatre Wesleyan will be kicking off the spring semester with a student-directed performance of “Smokefall” at the Thad Smotherman Theatre from Feb. 14 to Feb. 24.
Alexandra Flurry, a senior theatre major, will be playing the role of Violet.
She summarized Noah Haidle’s play to be about a dysfunctional family.
“[‘Smokefall’] is about a dysfunctional family that is held together by their love for one another,” she said.
Flurry said the three-act play “transcends time.”
“The play is very much about moving back and forth through the past and the future,” she said. “The first act is just the past, the second act is in between [time], and the third act transitions between the future and the past.”
Flurry said seeing the play will make the audience feel as if they were “lucid dreaming.”
“There are moments [in the play] that are really funny and happy, and then all of the sudden you are balling your eyes out because it’s so sad,” she said.
She said people should see the play because it is a “universal and relatable play.”
“It is a beautiful piece of art,” Flurry said. “If you just read the script, it’s like you’re reading poetry. I hope people go and experience it and appreciate it for what it is.”
Flurry said Violet is a key component in the family.
“Violet is the mother [of the family],” she said. “She is 36 weeks pregnant with twin boys. She kind of holds the family together.”
In order to know how to play the role of a pregnant mother, Flurry said she been doing some research.
She has been consulting Visiting Professor of Theatre Karen Potter and her mom about what it is like to be pregnant.
“Superficially, I am playing a hugely pregnant woman, so I have to get into that,” Flurry said.
She said she has been trying to figure out the smallest details of how pregnant women walk, cradle their belly, and how they even sit down on a chair.
Flurry said that since Violet reminded her a lot about her mom, she used that to study her character.
“To get into her character, I did a lot of writing about the similarities between her and my mom,” she said. “[I looked at] how I could hone in on those [similarities], how I feel when my mom talks or looks at me a certain way, and how I could hone in on some of those aspects of her that I observe.”
Flurry said she has been enjoying having Kimberly Owen, a senior theatre major, student-direct the show.
“She always comes in with new activities for us to do in the beginning of rehearsal to get us pumped up, and just her energy itself gets us pumped up,” she said. “We want to put up a good show for this lady because she is awesome.”
Flurry said she is happy Owen gets to realize her dream of being a director.
“She cried tears of joy and happiness because it’s something she has been wanting to do her entire school career and now she is getting to do it,” Flurry said.
Owen wrote in a statement that she is excited to “bring ‘Smokefall’ to life on stage.”
“When looking for a show for my first main stage direction, I read tons of plays,” she wrote. “After reading the first three pages of ‘Smokefall’, I knew it was the show for me.”
Owen wrote that she wishes the audience takes something away after seeing the play.
“Something I hope people take away from ‘Smokefall’ is the idea that no matter what our family has done for generations, we, as individuals, can change the trajectory,” she wrote.
Massaran Kromah, a senior mass communication major, wrote in a message that she is looking forward to seeing “Smokefall.”
“Plays like these are important for people to see,” Kromah wrote. “It gives people who haven’t experienced what a dysfunctional family looks like a first-hand look at what children and adults in this situation go through.”
Kromah wrote that she won’t be seeing the show on her own.
“I will bring my friends with me to experience this play,” she wrote.
“Smokefall” runs Feb. 14-24 at the Thad Smotherman Theatre. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. each night except for Feb. 24, which is a 2 p.m. matinee. For ticket prices and more information, go to txwes.edu/theatretickets.