Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Feb. 18: AU play "Obligatio"

Play by Montgomery college student to premiere at Aurora University Feb. 18

AURORA, Ill.—“Obligatio,” a two-act play by Aurora University student Travis Winkler of Montgomery, will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18-19 and Feb. 23-26 in AU’s Perry Theatre in the Aurora Foundation Center at 1305 Kenilworth Place in Aurora.
The public is invited. Admission is free.

John Curran of St. Charles, Associate Professor of Theatre, will direct the production.

Set in 1582 Europe, the play focuses on Lady Joan, a forward-thinking noblewoman of the court. After her father's death, she must decide whether to fulfill her obligation to her kingdom by agreeing to an unwanted marriage to her cousin John.

Offering their help are Prince Edward, Lady Joan’s charge Britta and Mother Catharine, her best friend.

Winkler, a senior theater major with minors in English and music, is a 2006 West Aurora High School graduate who launched his playwright career there with a one-act.

“‘Obligatio’ has never been performed before,” Winkler said. “It's a little nerve racking, but I'm rather excited.”

According to Winkler, the idea for “Obligatio” (Latin for “obligation,” meaning entangling or ensnaring) came during a Drama Literature course during his sophomore year. He said, “We were discussing verse drama during the Renaissance and we had to write a scene that was in iambic pentameter.

“Being my goofy self, I decided to just write a scene during the Elizabethan time period. And with my love of royalty, fencing and unrequited love, I developed the characters of Lady Joan, Prince Edvard and Lord John.

“At the time, I didn't think that I would take the story anywhere, however, in the fall of 2009, (Assistant Professor of Theatre) Denise Blank reminded me of the story of Joan and how developed the characters already were.”

Winkler said the play’s completion culminated a year of work. There were a few months where he took a break from it so he could sit back, let it settle and then go back into it with his mind refreshed. Six months were devoted to rewrites and developing the scenes.

Winkler added, “I've enjoyed every minute of the process. It's been great working with Denise and with John Curran, the director. They both have helped me immensely.

“This production is not just my senior seminar project but also senior projects for Patricia Bily, who is costuming, and Jeff Shilling, who is playing Count John. Both have given me their thoughts, and I have appreciated every single one of them.”

The play features swordfighting. Curran brought in Bryce Bermingham, an actor and fight choreographer from New York City, for a week to teach the actors how to use rapier swords. Bermingham also conducted an evening workshop in film fighting for AU and North Central College students.

Curran’s stagecraft class constructed the set. They worked from a virtual scale model created with free Google software.

Cast members are:

Joan: Alissa Duvall of Naperville
Mother Catharine: Heidi Schultz of Aurora
Edward: Matt Sanders of Oswego
Count John: Jeff Shilling of Crete
Britta: Emily DeFelice-Curran of St. Charles
Albert: Chris Larsen of DeKalb
Lady Irling: Lydia Starring of Sparta, Mich.
Messenger/understudy: Lauren Dwyer of Hampshire
Lady of Court/Female Understudy: E. Ashley Shain of Aurora
Lady of Court: Sarah A. Ward of Sugar Grove
Lady of Court: Patricia Liu of Bloomington, Minn.

Crew members are:

Director/scenic design: John Curran Jr. of St. Charles
Playwright: Travis Winkler of Montgomery
Prop design/graphic design: Tavia DeFelice of St. Charles
Costume design: Patricia Bily of St. Charles
Sound design: Christopher Kriz of Chicago
Lighting design: Matt Gawryk of Chicago
Stage manager: Tegan Rogers of North Aurora

Call (630) 844-4924.

No comments:

Post a Comment