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The Blue & Gray Press | May 27, 2017

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Studio 115 actors explore new characters in production “Miscast”

Studio 115 actors explore new characters in production “Miscast”

By EMILY AINSWORTH

University of Mary Washington’s theatre department presented “Miscast” on Saturday, Sept. 17, a one-hour production about actors who portrayed characters that they would never in a million years be casted as in the world of professional theatre.

The actors got to explore and become other characters that were outside of their usual type. Type casting is prominent in professional theatre, movies and television. Actors in the real world discover their type in order to get roles and make money. While a miscast experience would not fly in real life, the actors were excited to play the characters they dreamed of playing, but would never actually get to portray. The audience was happy to see the actors having fun with their opposite typed characters.

There were a variety of silly songs and dramatic ballads provided by the cast. Amongst these cast members were Lily Olson and Bev Kippenhan. Both shared their experiences of being in the show and their thoughts about the show, as well as type casting. She had some thoughts about the production and the type casting discussion.

“It was a lot fun, especially with the people involved, this has a unique energy because it is so strange,” said junior psychology major, Lily Olson, who was a producer, the house manager and an actor in the show. “It was such a different opportunity and it was very enjoyable to do dream roles that you can’t really do.”

Olson talks more in depth about type casting and how the show addresses it. “The goal is to go against type and let people do completely the opposite because in acting you do get set into type, so this is an opportunity to break and do what you want,” Olson said.

Bev Kippenhan, a senior theatre major and an actor in “Miscast” had very similar responses about her experience on this production and the whole typecasting discussion.

“Nicky is the part that I’m singing, so just the process of being able to learn how to use the puppet the way that they did in Avenue Q was very cool,” Kippenhan said.

Kippenhan enjoyed playing Nicky her character in Miscast and liked the whole experience of being able to be a part of this unique show that allows actors to play these “dream roles” as Olson called it. Kippenhan discussed the theme of Miscast and the freedom of not being type casted. “I really like how this has given students opportunities to do what they really want to do, when in the professional world they might not have access to the things they really want to do,” Kippenhan said.

The audience seemed to enjoy this unique and unusual energy that “Miscast” provided. Sarah Gerde, a sophomore and a communications major, watched the play from the audience’s perspective. “I think it was a good chance for them to explore other options that normally they would have never gotten to play,” Gerde said.

Looks like the unique and unusual energy that Olson and Kippenhan talked about got the approval and the attention from the audience. Just like the actors, the audience seemed to like the idea of a “miscast” play and the opportunities it provided the actors with to explore different characters.

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