Indie student play displays creativity

Posted by Rachel Kim

On March 4 the Theater Department will open the annual spring Black Box Seminar Production, "Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams" at the Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater.

The play, written by Nilo Cruz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, centers around siblings Luca and Luciana whose lives are affected by their move from Havana to U.S. in 1961.

The two go through an emotional journey as they return to Cuba to search for their missing childhood and trace their roots.

Luciana finds refuge and is taken in by Hortensia, a woman who opens up a world of love, warmth and miracles with the Museum of Dreams.

As they go through this emotional journey, the characters learn to come to terms with their own personal past and ultimately challenge the audience's capability to hope, love and forgive.

"Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams" is directed by Ilanna Saltzman '11, who has had prior experience with directing and working with her peers in this kind of setting.

Saltzman previously directed student-written and student-run "Pegasus" last semester, which was well received and commended for its thought-provoking quality.

Like "Pegasus," "Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams" is a student-run production, an experience that proves to be valuable and beneficial to all the students involved.

The student influence is not limited to directing and acting and extends to management and all other aspects of design.

"Through excellent mentoring by our faculty, students are able to learn about the theatrical process in a very hands-on way," said Katie Lane '11, publicity manager of college's Theater Department.

Student-run productions like "Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams" receive support and guidance from the department, but are also able to give students the freedom to explore and discover their responsibility and individual creativity.

"In "Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams" in particular, we have students taking charge in nearly every single area - directing, acting, set, lighting and costume design and even management which is incredibly exciting," Lane said.

Performances of "Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams" will be held at the Black Box Studio in the JKB Theater until March 9. General admission tickets cost $12 and student and senior citizen tickets cost $8.

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