Theatre2Film Project begins second stage of student production
Now that the MSU Department of Theatre’s Theatre2Film Project has taken the stage, the actors get to see audience reactions and use those responses in preparation for the upcoming film production.
Theater senior CJ Valle, who wrote the script and plays the part of a work-obsessed college graduate, said she was anxious to see how the audience would react.
Valle said seeing the production on stage is both strange and surreal for her. While writing the script, she envisioned it one way, but on stage the actors perform their own interpretations.
“It’s very refreshing to see their take. It’s never negative,” Valle said.
Theater senior Katie Maggart, who plays the part of a sarcastic waitress, said she’s never been so ready to do a show.
“It’s very relieving and I’m the most proud of the show because I’ve been so heavily involved in it,” Maggart said.
She said this is true for all the actors, as it’s been a very long and collaborative process.
“It’s been really great, there’s been a lot of laughter and people seem to really enjoy it,” Maggart said.
She said the cast has been preparing for film production in a class with director and professor of media acting Mark Colson, where they dissect exactly what they’ll need to do.
Maggart said the concept of transferring from theater to film has been frustrating for her.
She said film is much more subtle than theater, and her emotions change when acting for different mediums.
“You’ll have some moments in theater that you won’t be able to have in film,” Maggart said.
She said even though she and other actors will want to recreate a moment they had in the theater production, that would be impossible and it’s something they have to accept.
Maggart said her biggest challenge is that her character is very physical. In film, she won’t be able to run and jump around the way she does on stage.
“I’m going to have to limit myself but I’m going to have to make sure I have all the same workings in my head,” Maggart said.
Colson said it was really important for him that all the students had a voice in creating the script, which was challenging.
Colson said looking back he wouldn’t do anything different, because that would have limited who was going to be a part of the process.
“It’s great to see those words come to life on stage and really come off the page,” Colson said.
He said the audience reactions have been split down the middle, but viewers who really want a beginning, middle and end get frustrated with the play.
“That frustration, I’m OK with that,” Colson said, “We knew that we were taking a risk when we started to do this thing and my eye is still on the prize as far as what we’re doing.”
He said there will only be minor changes coming into the film production, that the purpose of the script is to get people thinking.
He said the Theatre2Film Project is to him a grand experiment, a process of figuring out whether the production works fully for the stage.
Colson said the film production will be entirely student led, which was the mission of the project to begin with.
“We want all of our students to get this experience,” Colson said.
The final showing of their stage production was Sunday.