Taylor Brethauer, Staff Writer
The Manhattan Players certainly have their plates full this semester with many shows and events planned that they hope will interest those who have participated in theater before. There’s a reason that requirements for the ensemble on the manhattan.edu page list “a love of acting and the theatrical arts.”
Yet no matter what your theatrical background is, the group is happy to welcome anyone. All shows not only have students acting in them, they also have students in the tech crew building sets and working on lighting with specialist Kevin Reed, whom the company has worked with before. Students interested in costuming will also be able to work with local professional costumer Elizabeth Cipollini this year. Players continuously grow as a group because of all of the opportunities available to perfect their craft, which is what sets them apart from other performance groups on campus.
“We definitely get stronger because we figure out our identity a little better,” Players Student Producer/Stage Manager Andrea Lopilato said. “We figure out the kind of students who get involved with Players and the kinds of people who come to see our shows. In that sense, it definitely helps us to pick our season and pick out what we do best.”
Martin Marchitto, the faculty advisor for the Players, believes the shows themselves aren’t placed on a hierarchy, meaning all of the shows are equal. Each one gets its own attention with set design, rehearsals and advertising. Regardless of whether the show is in Smith Auditorium or The Black Box in Thomas Hall, the detail and attentiveness is important to make each show special and have them work. Most importantly, the students work hard to produce the best shows they can.
“What’s exciting for me is that Players is a student- run organization, with students who are passionate about their work and dedicated to creating good quality theater,” Marchitto said.
To start off the 2015-2016 year, the group plans on putting on quite a few shows, including a dinner theater/murder mystery titled “Murder’s in the Heir,” a stage-reading of a play titled “8” about the legalization of gay marriage and wrapping up the semester with a Cabaret showcase. The big main stage shows are an actor-driven play titled “The Dining Room” in the fall and novel-turned-musical hit “Little Women” in the spring.
The performing arts group prides itself on creating a close-knit community and plans social events for the semester such as an outing to the Broadway Flea Market and musical movie nights. By maintaining a close community, putting together shows are easier when everyone gets along.
“Just like all of the other clubs, we’re bringing together students with a common interest. Ours is theater. It’s something fun to do, that we all like doing. Then we become really good friends through it,” Liz Corrigan, Players Treasurer, said.
To find out more information including Players auditions, show times and more, follow them on Twitter @PlayersMC, follow them on Instagram @Manhattan_Players or like them on Facebook. The group is looking forward to putting on their first show, “Murder in the Heir” during family weekend Oct. 3 and 4.