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Students prepare to get reckless

Sonia Waraich

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Theater production of contemporary play set to premiere April 4

Facing life’s challenge and learning to cope with them are the central themes of Craig Lucas’ 1983 play “Reckless,” which is set to run at the SJCC Theater from April 4 to 6.

“There’s a lot of humor,” said actor Chad Stewart, 26, creative writing major, “but it’s very dark.”

Actress Casey Jane Satterlund, 24, art education major, said she enjoyed the play because of the abundance of varied roles and personalities, making it “a great character study.”

“It’s kind of about what each individual character is hiding,” Satterlund said, “and how each character deals with the traumatic experiences they’ve had.”

Stewart said the title of the play hints at the central theme, “the recklessness of humans … and how people cope with those (reckless) decisions.”

“It’s a pretty surreal play,” Stewart said. “It’s one of those things where you’re not sure if it’s a dream.”

Stewart said Dennis Sloan, professor of theater arts, was a big help in preparing for the play, providing exercises through the theater production class coursework.

“A lot of it is keeping a journal, character analysis, that kind of stuff,” Stewart said.

Sloan said he provided students with exercises focusing on different aspects of their acting, from the emotional and psychological to the physical and vocal.

The exercises have a wide range of functions. Some are for expanding the range of an actor’s pitch, others are breathing exercises to ensure one’s voice does not get damaged, while others are tongue twisters meant to improve enunciation.

“It’s pretty exhausting, I scream a lot,” Satterlund said. “Even when I’m not screaming I’m talking in a pitch that’s not natural for me, so it’s kind of demanding in that way.”

Satterlund said she did not mind the amount of work and was having a lot of fun with the cast, which includes 10 student actors and six students who are focused on the technical side of things, such as the set and lighting.

“There are 22 roles,” Sloan said. “It can be performed by as few as seven actors or as many as 22, so it gives us some flexibility.”

Admission to the play is free with a donation of canned food, which will go to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

“There is also an idea in the play that you can, in many ways, create a family,” Sloan said.

Sloan said the characters in the play lose their families in one way or another, but still end up finding and becoming a support system for each other.

“It is a subject matter that I think appeals to students because it is contemporary,” Sloan said. “It was written in the 80s, but I think the themes are pretty universal.”

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Students prepare to get reckless