Winter Play Opens Just in Time for Valentine’s Day

Play Director Craig Smith Says the Show “Breaks Theatre Norms”

By Kendall Shamus ‘20

Who Am I This Time? (& Other Conundrums of Love) starts its three-night run in the Lora M. Robins Theatre this Thursday, Feb. 7. This quirky and poignant show, performed by Middle and Upper School students, is a part of the mainstage season at Steward.

The play is a collection of scenes that have repeating, interlocking characters entangled in love stories, which makes it an ideal play to perform this time of the year.

“This play is a perfect treat for Valentines—all about love and how many different forms it can take,” said Craig Smith, the play director and chairman of the Theatre Department. “It is also a great blend of light and sweet humor that will have the audience leaving the theatre feeling warm and happy.”

The show is described by the website Dramatist as “three early comic masterpieces by Kurt Vonnegut (Long Walk to Forever, Who am I This Time?, and Go Back to Your Precious Wife and Son) [that] are sewn together into a seamless evening of hilarity and humanity.” Each act is narrated by a character named Tom (played by Matthew Cantor ‘20). While he is not narrating the story, he can be seen taking part in the storyline or watching from afar.

The first scene in this collection is about a young woman named Catherine (played by Crary Moore ‘20) and a long-lost love of hers, Newt (played by Daniel Corcoran ‘20). Newt is on leave from the military and wants to see Catherine before she gets married very soon. Catherine is at first skeptical of reconnecting with Newt but she does. Together they reminisce and reflect about old times.

In the second part of the show, the story shifts to a small town where the local theatre company is putting on the show A Streetcar Named Desire. This story follows the storyline of Harry Nash (played by Trace Coles ‘19) and Helene Shaw (played by Kendall Shamus ‘20) as they go through the rehearsal process for the production. Helene starts to fall madly in love with Harry as the rehearsals progress. She sees his character come to life as romantic and suave but in real life Harry has a flat, timid personality. Along with Harry and Helene, there are several other characters involved in the show, such as the feisty director Doris (played by Caroline Brumagin ‘22), Joey the stagehand (played by Jackson Rhamsy ‘24), and Verne, who provides comic relief throughout the story (played by Hayden Ashworth ‘23).

In the third scene, the storyline follows the husband of an ex-movie star Murra (played by Alex Chapman ‘23) and Tom, the narrator from the first and second scenes. The men talk about their struggles of love. Each have multiple moments with their wives, Gloria Hilton (played by Jayden Satter ‘22) and Kate (played by Hannah Frank ‘20) as well their children Paula (played by Libey Eynan ‘21) and John (played by Evan Dymon ‘22) as they try to rekindle their relationships. Along the way in this scene the audience will get some comic relief from the quirky character Roy Crocker (played by Colin Hudson ‘22).

This is the ninth show on the Steward mainstage for Libey Eynan. When asked the best part of this experience for her, she said, “I feel that we have a very fun cast and we are all really good friends, which has made it a wonderful experience. It’s been a lot of fun to experiment with Paula because I have gotten to play a type of character I don’t normally portray.”

Daniel Corcoran, who is playing the role of Newt in the first scene, said, “The best lesson I’ve learned from this process is work hard, but be patient because then things will eventually come together.”

Mr. Smith explained how this show differs from recent Steward productions. He said, “Both of the last straight plays I have directed have included music in the scripts. Some directors chose to cut the songs, but I felt like in both cases they added so much, and they showed off the talents of the casts.”

The style of this show is different then most of the shows performed on the Steward stage. “The big difference about this show is the style of presentation,” Mr. Smith said. “I think the audience will be a little shocked with some of the choices we’ve made — not because they are controversial, but because they break theatre norms. That is my hope, at least.”

Come out and support the Steward Theatre Department Febuary 7-9 at the Lora M. Robins Theater! Admission is always free. Families are also welcome to attend “Dinner and a Show” on Thursday night; register here.





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