Theater students headed to ACTF

James Barcomb, Arts & Leisure Editor

Several students involved with the Performing Arts Center will be traveling to Hyannis, Mass. for this year’s Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (Region 1) Jan. 29-Feb. 2. Last January, the cast and crew of Boot & Buskin’s fall 2011 production “Rhinoceros” took the show to the festival. This year, however, instead of bringing the fall 2012 production, “A Tempest,” the theater department opted instead to send a handful of students for various competitions and workshops.

Among those going is sophomore theatre arts major Vincent Randazzo. Randazzo, nominated for an Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship for his performance as Stephano in “A Tempest,” will compete against other actors with two full scenes (senior Tyler Sperrazza will act as his scene partner) and, if he is advanced to the third round, a monologue. The scenes come from Edward Albee’s “The Zoo Story” and Shakespeare’s “Henry IV, Part I” while the monologue is derived from “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.”

“[Assistant professor of theatre arts] Matt [Chiorini] suggested ‘Zoo Story’,” Randazzo said. “And I loved it, especially this character, Jerry, who’s almost insane, but wants to prove a point. The piece in “Bengal Tiger” is a hysterical monologue in a tragic situation.”

Randazzo will also be involved in the devised theatre project, along with three other students, Rhiannon Williams, Lizz Allers and Brandon Sisson (all three are senior theatre arts and English majors). Given only the topic “5 Years from Today” and a few guidelines (e.g. music must be involved), the quartet had to put together a 20-minute show.

“Rhiannon headed up the team and gave us different ways to look at devised theater,” Allers noted. “All four of us have training in acting, directing, designing, etc., so we put all of our best strengths to use, which [collectively] gave us a wide base of knowledge.”

“It was definitely a collaboration,” Randazzo added. “We would just throw around ideas so much that the final show is a far cry from our some of our original thoughts. At certain points, we had things like ‘Peter Pan’ or ‘The Wizard of Oz;’ a lot of things got tossed around.”

So far, the group has just previewed the show (which follows two couples over the course of six New Year’s parties) for fellow Le Moyne students, which will make the performance at ACTF all the more interesting.

“I’m excited to see how it’s perceived by different people, like the [judges] and the other two groups involved,” Williams said.

After several months of hard work, the group is confident and satisfied with their piece.

“This just feels like a really good group,” Sisson explained. “As we learned in a class, [art can be defined as] something that elicits a response and elated but separate reactions. So it makes us feel good to approach ‘art.’”