Back Story-A tale of two siblings

Back Story-A tale of two siblings

by Sam Dearden & Amanda YanchuryStaff Writers

This weekend Theatre Simpson will premiere its production “Back Story” in the Barnum Studio Theatre. The performances are scheduled for Sept. 25-26 at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 27 at 1 p.m., Oct. 2-3 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 4 at 1 p.m.

“Back Story” is about a brother and sister who learn to cope with the abandonment of their father.

The two-person cast is made up of junior Katie Rooney as Ainsley Belcher and sophomore Paul Privitera as Ethan Belcher.

According to Rooney, “What makes this play so special is that it shines a humorous light on serious situations.”

Although the play is a comedy, there are dramatic underlying elements.

“The show focuses on the sister-brother dynamic and how their relationship is important to their survival,” Rooney said.

Privitera said the dynamics of the show create an interesting impression that will make the audience have a connection with the show.

“It’s a very real (production),” Privitera said. “The point is to connect with the audience. I think there will be elements in this show that everyone in the audience will be able to relate to.”

Rooney agreed with Privitera and said that the reality of the play will be engaging for the audience.

Director Jennifer Ross Nostrala is excited about the upcoming production.

“It’s an interesting play, very character focused,” Nostrala said. “It emphasizes two people and the exploration of the brother-sister relationship. Since it is a brother and sister relationship deciding who they are among other difficulties in their lives, it will resonate well with the audience.”

The actors started rehearsing last May Term, but took a hiatus for summer recess and returned to campus early to finish rehearsing. Both Rooney and Privitera have extensive backgrounds in theater and are eager to perform the show.

Nostrala believes their efforts have paid off and is looking forward to their performance.

“I was very pleased in the actors’ abilities to create real, honest performances (during rehearsal),” Nostrala said. “Instead of just speaking the words, they created something new.”

The location and set of the production play a key aspect in the overall value of the play.

“I love that this play is in an intimate space and building community with the audience,” Nostrala said. “People spend a lot of time on Facebook and other social networking sites nowadays, and it’s exciting having a live performance that connects with the audience.”

The intimacy of the Barnum theater as well as the lack of major theatrics will highlight the importance of the characters and the plot.

“The set is very simplistic, and hopefully we’ve created an atmosphere that will make the audience think about the characters and what they are experiencing,” Privitera said.

“Back Story” was written by 18 different playwrights and was originally commissioned by the Actors Theatre of Louisville for the Humana Festival of New Plays in 2000, according to the Theatre Simpson Web page.

Although Simpson students receive free admission, Nostrala recommends getting reserved seats because Barnum Studio Theatre has limited seating. To reserve tickets, email [email protected] or call 515-961-1601.