Rude Mechanicals to perform student works

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Reynolds Hall
Reynolds Hall (Courtesy of Bianca Ison)

With the beginning of a new semester, The Rude Mechanicals Medieval & Renaissance Players have begun practicing for their upcoming plays. This semester, the troupe will be performing “Herod and the Slaughter of the Innocents,” described in the audition announcement as “the biblical story of Herod and the slaughter of the male babies of Bethlehem, set in today’s America.”

This semester will also include student-written plays by Claudia McCarron, Andrea Monsma, and Lena Nunez, who are eager to see their characters come to life for the first time.

“I couldn’t be more excited,” McCarron says. “Having my play produced is an incredible opportunity that I never thought I would have.” McCarron is the author of “Harper and Laurel,” the story of the relationship of a daughter (Harper) and her step-mother (Laurel) following the death of her father.

“I was inspired by my interest in complicated, messy family dramas,” McCarron says. “I wanted to write about a blended family and how they adjust when the person holding them together–in this case Harper’s father and Laurel’s long-term boyfriend–dies. The question I tried to answer with this play was whether Harper and Laurel would be able to create a relationship independently from Harper’s father.”

“Welcome to the Poetry Club,” by Andrea Monsma is described in the audition announcement as “a comedy in which members of a college poetry club with different personalities and different ideas of poetry share their poems and philosophies of life.”

The third student play is “Charity, Cubes, and Caroline,” by Lena Nunez. The announcement describes the play as the story of “a mother [who] tries to rescue her son from a weird cult, with mixed results.” Nunez, a political science major with a minor in English, describes what inspired her play. “After reading The Crying of Lot 49 in one of Professor Messenger’s classes last spring,” Nunez says, “I thought, ‘Man, I want to write a story with a cult in it.’ So I made a cult leader character named Tristero but I couldn’t really think of a story to use him in and I put him in my back pocket for a while. I never wrote anything with him until I had to do a monologue for an exercise in creative writing: drama and I decided to use him. I had a great time doing that assignment so I knew I had to write a full play with him.”

As eager as the writers are to see their characters come to life on stage, they hope that audiences will enjoy them just as much.

“I hope it makes them think,” McCarron says. “But most of all I hope it makes them feel. I want the audience to walk away remembering Harper and Laurel after the curtain falls.”

“I’m really excited to see what the director and actors do with the characters I wrote,” Nunez says. “As long as my play makes the audience laugh, I’ll be happy!”

The plays will be performed March 29th through April 6th.