Audience members will cherish and hold their family members and loved ones after seeing Theatre Wesleyan’s production of Stop Kiss.
Kiss, written by Diana Son, is a poignant play that focus on two young women and their fight to love one another.
Set in New York City in 1995, the play focuses on Callie (played on opening night by understudy Kim Owen), who has offered to help a friend of a friend by taking care of her cat, Caesar. When Sara (played by Jasmine West) brings over the cat, Callie instantly warms up to Sara and offers to show her around the many popular restaurants and bars that the city offers. A friendship blossoms.
Callie becomes attracted to Sara; by starting little arguments with her about what clothes to wear and constantly pushing herself onto her friend with benefits, George (Alfredo Tamayo), Callie hopes her attraction to Sara will fade away.
Her attempts to block out Sara doesn’t work and she finds herself wanting her even more.
“Okay. Just tell me,” Sara asks Callie at one point. “What do you want?”
Throughout the play, the audience watches the sequences of Callie’s life where she never thinks about what she truly wants. She never gives herself the push she needs to exceed her full potential, until Sara gets hurt.
After a fun night out at a local gay club, Sara and Callie’s date is interrupted by a perverted man hoping to have some fun with “some dykes.” He attacks them and beats Sara unconscious. It takes Sara getting beaten and hospitalized for Callie to realize what she really wants. She wants Sara..
Kiss gives member audience a chance to experience the hardships and brutality many interracial and same-sex couples go through on daily basis.
“With an ever changing society, I want this show to reinforce the idea that love is love and no one should have to go without it,” student director Colton Mallory, a senior theatre major, wrote in a recent email. “Although I set the show in 1995, the story and subject matter are just as relevant if not more here in 2016. I hope this touches their heart and they can see how life can drastically change from one moment to the next. I also hope this show makes them hug a person that is close to them and to cherish their time and relationship together.”
Since beginning at Wesleyan, Mallory’s goal was to progress from an actor to a main-stage show director.
“When asked to provide different titles for my senior directing project, Stop Kiss was always at the top of my list,” Mallory wrote. “It involves both romance and comedy which makes it relatable for audience members.”
By playing popular hits by performers like TLC and No Doubt, audience members were able to become interested in what was happening in the play, even during set changes, as the production retained its ‘90s feel, and through the set designs, the audience was able to experience the blossoming friendship between the two girls in Callie’s apartment and the heartbreaking moments in the hospital.
Kiss runs through Nov. 20. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. except for Nov. 20, when there will be a 2 p.m. matinee. All performances are at the Thad Smotherman Theatre. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for Wesleyan faculty and staff, as well as seniors. Tickets are available at 817-531-4211 or via the Theatre Wesleyan website. All Texas Wesleyan students can receive free tickets through the Student Theatrical Experience Fund (STEF), according to txwes.edu.
- The role of Sara (foreground) is played by Jasmine West. Photo courtesy of Jacob Sanchez.
- The role of Callie (standing) is played by Giselle Saucedo. For the Thursday, November 10 performance, Kim Owens, understudy, performed the role. Photo courtesy of Jacob Sanchez.
- Publicity poster and graphic design by Tyler Guse.