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SMU Student Theatre Produces Show Featuring Only Non-Theatre Majors

Edward Albee's "The Zoo Story" to Be Performed Nov. 20 and 21

Chrysta Brown (B.F.A. Dance '10)

What do cinema-TV major Trey Trevino, vocal performance major Steven Robinson, and former theatre major Sarah Miller have in common? They're actors.  On November 20-21, they will perform outdoors in the first SMU Student Theatre (SMUST) play to use a cast of entirely non-theatre majors.

The play, Edward Albee's classic The Zoo Story, is a one-act that follows the random conversation of two opposing characters, Peter and Jerry.  "It's about a number of things – possession, man's animalistic nature, manhood,” says Sarah Miller, the show’s director.  The original play takes place on a park bench, which inspired the setting for Sarah’s rendition.  “I can’t imagine setting it inside!" she says.

Unlike all other SMUST productions, this play does not use theatre majors.  Miller preferred to use different majors as a way of exposing more students to theatre and giving an opportunity to students who ordinarily wouldn’t be able to participate in productions.

"At first it was really hard because I had never directed anything before," she says. She noted that the actors’ artistic backgrounds provided them with different points of view, which motivated their characterization and performance. "They would draw parallels between what I was trying to say and what they do in their own art." 

The rehearsal process began indoors so the participants could get a better understanding of the characters and the play.  They have only recently been working in the actual space – and, working outside, they must be prepared for anything.   Near the end of the play, one of the characters calls for help – and during a rehearsal an SMU policeman asked if there was a problem.  No problem. Just a play. "It's a great play.  Plus, my actors have worked incredibly hard with this," Sarah responds when asked why people should come see the show. "I'm sure people are curious to see what happens when non-theatre majors put up a play!" 

The Zoo Story will be performed in the Brandt Garden, on the Bishop Blvd. side of the Owen Arts Center, on Friday, November 20 at 4:00 PM and Saturday, November 21 at 3:00 PM.  The show is free and runs about one hour.   For more information, visit the SMUST Facebook page

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