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Student-Directed Production Charms Viewers

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This month, the theatre department is producing two student directed and designed plays. The weekend of Feb. 10 through 12 was dedicated to the musical, “Daddy Long Legs,” and the following weekend, Febr. 16 – 18, will be dedicated to the studio production, “A History of Falling Things.”

“Daddy Long Legs” is a musical with only a two person cast, Jordan Horne, ’17, as Jervis and Emma Terrell, ’17, as Jerusha and the director of the production. Taking place in the early-1900s, the show follows the story of a young woman and orphan, Jerusha, who is given tuition to attend college by Jervis, a rich man who sees potential in her after reading a few of her essays.

Jervis has funded the college education of many male orphans in the past, and always remains anonymous under the name John Smith. As part of the deal, Jerusha is required to write this Mr. Smith every month telling him of her studies – letters to which he will never reply back. Her wit intrigues Jervis, who ends up falling in love with her while reading these monthly updates (which are all communicated to the audience in song).

“A History of Falling Things” follows two young adults, Jacqui and Robin, who suffer from keraunothnetophobia – the fear of falling satellites. The show follows their relationship after they meet in an online chat room.

“The way I’ve been describing the show to people,” said Logan Milway, ’17, director of the show, “is that it’s a British romcom for introverts.”

Because of their crippling fear of being flattened by a falling satellite, Jacqui and Robin don’t ever leave their homes, and this proves to be difficult for them as their relationship develops from friendship into something more.

“I found this message of taking risks and taking chances and putting yourself out there even though you’re afraid that you might crushed,” Milway said. “[They] struggle to figure out what they want to get better for and who they want to get better for.”

Milway first saw “The History of Falling Things” his freshman year when Carthage was invited to perform a play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. He immediately fell in love with the show and found he was able to identify with the characters because they seemed so ordinary, apart from the extraordinary situation they found themselves in.

“The show is incredibly funny and sweet,” Lindsay Phillips, ’17, who plays Jacqui in the production, said. “I think Jacqui is a very relatable character. She has fears, like all of us, but she is determined to overcome them. I find her very admirable.”

Because Milway felt a deep connection with the play, he has spent the past three years planning how he would direct it when he got the chance, and the production team and designers working on the show only strengthened this vision. While the production he saw used a minimalist set, something different can be expected from Carthage’s student designers, although exactly what it is remains a secret.

“When people walk into the theatre and see the set, hopefully they’re going to be like, ‘What the heck am I looking at?’ And hopefully by the end it will really click with them like it clicked with me in Scotland,” Milway said. “The cast and the designers have made this show something completely different than what I ever thought it could be. They’re so talented and self-sufficient and the show wouldn’t be happening without them.”

“A History of Falling Things” will be in Clausen’s Studio Theatre, Feb. 16-18 at 7:30 pm.

“I think that this play would be a great date after Valentine’s Day,” Milway said. “It’s got comedy, it’s got heart, it’s got tons of charm, and instead of sitting at home and watching ‘The Notebook’ for the umpteenth time with your loved one, you could come out and support your local theatre.”

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