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The Blue & Gray Press | February 22, 2018

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'Talking With'

By CHELSEA FULLER

This weekend and next, Klein Theater is featuring their new show “Talking With.”  As a part of its 100 years of theater anniversary, the theater department will be putting on shows echoing the ones performed a century ago.  Debuting during Parent’s Weekend, the show opened to a packed house of students and parents.

Though the title of the play may sound a bit dull, it is definitely worth the audience’s two hours.  With an experienced cast, including actors that have been performing from an early age, students will enjoy some very convincing performances. The play is a series of monologues by women speaking of, as cast members put it, “coping.”

The opening monologue is called “15 Minutes,” performed by an actress about to go on stage.  This very appropriate opening act talks about how nerve-racking entertaining a crowd of faceless people can be.

Sophomore Kat Zeringue, an undeclared major, performs in “Dragons,” easily the most contemporary monologue of the 11. Zeringue plays a woman in labor anticipating the inhuman child she is about to release upon the world.

Some of the monologues were very solemn in tone. Possibly the most sorrowful performance of the show is “Clear Glass Marbles,” in which the actress speaks of losing her mother, a topic that will hit close to home for any audience member who has lost a loved one.

On a similar note, the next monologue, “Handler,” speaks of questioning faith with the loss of a beloved friend.  While somber, it has an interesting way of livening up the audience.  At one point, a live five-foot snake is pulled on stage.

Humorous monologues break up the play. Just in case the audience didn’t get their fill of live animals on stage, in “Audition,” junior Kathryn Gigantiello, an education and theater major, plays a possibly psychotic cat owner with only one goal: to get what she wants.  Another funny piece is “French Fries,” a monologue about a homeless woman and her idolization of McDonalds.

When interviewing members of the cast, it became evident that all the women are passionate about acting and this show in particular.

When I spoke to cast members Karen Devigili, a senior majoring in psychology and theater, Kimerlyn Frost, a senior majoring in theater, and Alicia Kallen, another senior majoring in theater, it didn’t take long for that passion to make itself obvious.  They all agreed that what really pushed the show to be greater than its parts was director Helen Housley.

As Devigili stated, “[she] pushed us from the beginning, helping us to discover something in the end.”  The cast’s hard work and Housley’s hard-edged guidance is evident through each individual, sometimes emotional, monologue.

Though this may not be a Broadway spectacle, the simple costuming, small set and minimal props all seem to bring the audience closer to the cast. This intimacy leaves every audience member with his or her own experience and connection to the show.