Audience Welcomes ‘Betrayal’


by Tiffany VanVolkinburg

The theatre department debuted Harold Pinter’s Betrayal on Oct. 8 in Barnum Studio. The heart-wrenching drama portrayed the damaging effects of dishonesty.

Betrayal takes the audience on a journey through the causes and effects of inordinate affection. The story of heartbreak stars sophomore Chris Williams as the part of Robert, freshman Ethan Newman as Jerry, and sophomore Natalie Hining plays the part of Emma.

Told in reverse chronological order and set in modern England, Betrayal is centered around the affair of Robert’s wife, Emma, and his best friend, Jerry.

Robert and Emma, who are married with two children, seem to live a common life. As the play progresses the characters unfold their darkest secrets.

The actors’ depiction of their characters is incredibly moving. They were able to engage the audience and draw them into the story.

When asked to describe her character in depth, Hining had no difficulty coming up with a response.

“Emma is a very self-centered woman,” Hining said. “She is not a bad woman, but a lot of times she makes really bad decisions.”

The actors’ approach to getting into character before the show was quite similar, yet they viewed the process differently.

“Part of the process of getting into character is getting into our accents,” Hining said. “It helps us to discover our character by simply speaking in the accents. This process usually begins taking place a couple of hours before the show begins.”

Willams chose to get into character in a different way by projecting himself into the situation Robert is in.

There are many factors that contribute to the completion of a production. Sophomore Caleb Carver, props designer for the show, explains what it’s all about.

“There are real specific colors – red and black – so when picking out props, I wanted subtlety that matched and complemented the colors,” Carver said.

For Williams, the most important part of the process of making this production was not simply the props.

“Every part has its equal amount of importance, but the most important is when they all come together as a cohesive piece,” Williams said.

The cast put in long nights perfecting lines and staging. Sets and props are carefully constructed and put together to set the play in motion. Many big parts of the productions are seen but never heard. The cast of the play, along with the behind-the-scenes workers, all agree on what the most rewarding part of the process is.

“Seeing the finished product is the most rewarding part,” Carver said. “At Theatre Simpson, we try to be a collective group, not individuals, and to see it all come together and work (is rewarding).”

If you missed the opening of Betrayal, don’t fret. Three more performances will be held this weekend on Oct. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and at 1:00 p.m. Sunday in Barnum Studio.

“Go see the show,” Carver said. “It has a lot of real life themes and great acting. The script is pertinent to today’s society and the different perspectives are very interesting.”