Maryville College’s Theatre department in conjunction with the Clayton Center for the Arts announced their Spring production of “God of Carnage,” written by Yasmina Reza, earlier this year and rehearsals are already underway.
The show will be directed by Doug James, a regular contributor to the Maryville College Theatre department and the director of last year’s production of “Shrek the Musical” which was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19. However, things are looking up this semester and James will be leading his cast and crew through this new show in the safest way possible.
The production will take place on stage in the Haslam Family Flexible Theatre complete with costumes, make-up, and in-person acting just like a typical play. The only difference between this year’s show and a normal Spring play will be the method of viewing – “God of Carnage” will be recorded and made available to Maryville College and beyond through streaming platforms.
The show itself is a dark comedy that follows a meeting between two sets of parents, one of who’s child attacked the others’ in a park. When both couples sit down to have a civilized discussion one thing leads to another and the parents slowly devolve into childish chaos.
“Rehearsals have been great, honestly,” said Hudson Perrine, the senior theatre studies student playing the character of Annette, “The small number of cast members accomplishes two really awesome things. One, it keeps us all feeling safe and respected under the pandemic circumstances and two, it creates a much easier environment to listen and collaborate.”
As of now the cast is conducting rehearsals in-person. Currently, the actors maintain the recommended six-foot distance while blocking, mark where keeping that distance will not be possible during filming and masks are worn throughout. However, the most unique aspect to these rehearsals is yet to come.
To keep in line with COVID-19 safety and still film the performance with in-person actors, the whole cast will have to provide a negative COVID test and quarantine during the week of the production. According to members of the cast, department head Dr. Heather McMahon is working to organize the week of filming so the student actors can have a place to quarantine away from potentially vulnerable family, roommates, and coworkers. James has even volunteered to cook for his cast each night and drop off the meals during the week of their quarantine.
“I’m super stoked about experiencing the filming week,” Perrine said. “It’s a historical moment in the theatre arts! I can’t wait to be a part of the virtualization of theatre and seeing how it might be implemented in performance even after the pandemic.”