By Molly Burke and Samantha Smith
Youngstown State’s University Theatre is entering its 59th consecutive year as it kicks off the 2022-2023 season with a feminist comedy covering the escapades of four historical figures during the French Revolution.
“The Revolutionists” by Lauren Gunderson tells the stories of playwright Olympe de Gouge, assassin Charlotte Corday, icon of the revolution, former Queen Marie Antoinette and Haitian spy Marianne Angelle. Meganne Evans, senior theatre major plays Olympe de Gouge. She gave insight into what these four women experience in the show.
“[The play] is kind of like how all these women get along and fight for their rights during the French Revolution,” she said. “This is like an intimate story about the real lives of these people and how they’ve been affected by the politics around them.”
“The Revolutionists” will open in the Spotlight Theater on Sept. 30. It will run until Oct. 2, and from Oct. 7 until Oct. 9.
Every production requires a talented team that works diligently to prepare for each opening night. Associate professor and resident costume designer, Katherine Garlick, discussed how she collaborates with the director Matthew Mazuroski and all the designers to bring their vision to life.
“When you’re designing any show or play, the process actually starts a long time before it hits the stage. We began working on this script last spring,” she said. “We decided to ground the costumes very much in historical accuracy. So, they’re dressed in 1790s fashions so that you’ve got that modern language against this visual reminder that this is also a very old story and these are very real people from a real time and place.”
Carmella Donofrio, senior theatre studies and music major, has been heavily involved in shows at YSU. She discussed working as a stage manager for “The Revolutionists” and past performances.
“I’m at every rehearsal. I take notes. I’m the main source of communication between the lighting designer, the scenic designer, the director. It’s a lot of organizational stuff,” she said. “The director is so talented. All the designers are talented. It’s been really great working with everybody so far. I’m very excited for the show. I can’t wait for everyone to come see it.”
The University Theatre will feature three more musicals: “Godspell” in November, “The Last Five Years” in February and “Antigone” in spring. In addition to teaching classes on directing and theater production, Associate Professor Matthew Mazuroski is the director for the University Theatre. He explained more about these shows and what he is looking forward to showing audiences this year.
“[‘Godspell’] is a kind of piece that reminds us of some of the central teachings of Christ,” he said. “‘Last Five Years’ takes us on an intimate portrait of a couple coming together and breaking apart. ‘Antigone,’ which [features] one woman standing up against the power of the state to do what is right and the consequences she faces.”
Auditions for “Godspell” closed last week. However, YSU students can audition for any future shows. Mazuroski described the audition process.
“There’s some great opportunities out here for anyone who wants to get involved. We’ll typically send out universitywide audition notices. We often like you to have a brief monologue prepared, or a monologue and a song if it’s a musical. If you have any questions you can just contact the University Theatre program,” he said.
For more audition information, check out the call board or the Spotlight Theater door on the first floor of Bliss Hall.
Students can enjoy all University Theatre shows for free after presenting their YSU ID at the box office for a ticket. Discounts are available for YSU faculty, retirees, alumni society and others. Ticket subscriptions are also available on the University Theatre website.
Times for “The Revolutionists”
Sept 30 @ 7:30pm
Oct 1st @ 7:30pm
Oct 2nd @ 2pm
Oct 7th @ 7:30pm
Oct 8th @ 7:30pm
Oct 9th @ 2pm