Posted by Joanne Schwartzberg
Last Thursday, Len Jenkin's "Pilgrims of the Night" premiered in the Black Box studio of the Janet Kinghorn Bernhard Theater, the realization of months of hard work by faculty, alumni, and students alike.
"Len Jenkin is a master storyteller with a theatrical flare for the quirky and scintillating stories that rest in our imagination," director Alma Becker said.
Storytelling proves to be an integral part of the production. The play revolves around a group of travelers who miss a ferry and decide to tell stories to pass the time. As the play progresses, the stories get increasingly bizarre, yet, they all possess morals and reveal important things about the human condition. One life lesson the play imparts is the importance of connection and communication between people.
"We all not only play many roles, but the roles we play are unique, bizarre and crazy characters. This has challenged me to use my voice and body in ways that I would not have necessarily considered in many plays, and filled the rehearsal room with exploration and play," Anne Dufault '12 (Fellow Traveler) said.
According to the cast and crew, the process of creating this play has been an interesting and enlightening one. They had a unique opportunity to meet the playwright, who is also a novelist and director, and perform their work for him.
"It was fascinating to hear about his creative process and the experience of writing and seeing his own show," Grady Gund '12 (Professor Hubert) said.
"The best part of "Pilgrims" has been fostering a sense of community both in and out of the black box. The power of human interaction has guided us all in the process of creating a spectacular experience," Assistant Director Ruth Morrison '12 said.
Designed by Garry Wilson, the set design transformed the space into a ferry terminal. Stage lights were hidden from view and walls were created to hide the backstage area to submerge the audience into the play.
Wilson's scenic design was complemented by lighting and costume by alumni Nate Morgan and Jenna Glendye, respectively.
"Watching the black box evolve from an empty room into a ferry room was astonishing," Jonathan Lee-Ray '15 (Fellow Traveler) said.
"Skidmore's production seamlessly transported us from story to story while always reminding us where we were in real time," Rochelle Katz '12, an audience member, said.