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Student Theatre Explores Sexuality

| Tuesday, September 30, 2014

sexuality-graphic-WEBKeri O'Mara
Theatrically-inclined Notre Dame students have ample opportunity to show off their performance skills in various shows and events throughout the year. The Department of Film, Television and Theatre’s ND Theatre NOW! program provides student playwrights the same opportunity to showcase their creative written work.

This year, the ND Theatre NOW! program showcases two one-act plays by Notre Dame seniors. Both plays contribute to the ongoing campus discussion around sexuality by exploring the effects of coming out.

The show features “Out of Orbit” by senior Lucas Garcia and “Beneath My Skin” by senior Zachary Wendeln. The two plays will show each night of performance.

“Out of Orbit,” directed by Anthony Murphy, centers around a college senior, Joseph (Eric Ways), who brings his boyfriend, Anthony (Anthony Murphy), home for the weekend. A press release on the play said this propels “his parents into new and unexpected territory.”

“Beneath My Skin,” directed by Joey Doyle, examines the 25-year long struggle a man has with his sexuality. Thomas (Paul Kuczynski) struggles with his attraction to his best friend, Marshall, while at a Catholic university. After he divorces his wife, Thomas is forced to re-confront this struggle when he returns home.

The shows will take place in the Regis Philbin Studio Theatre. According to the FTT website, “The Philbin ‘black box’ theatre was designed to provide opportunities for students to work on cutting-edge, avant-garde performance pieces and any kind of dramatic performance requiring minimal stage support.”

ND Theatre NOW! aims to challenge student playwrights, directors and actors to work creatively while using what they have learned in their FTT classes. As such, these plays are always uniquely Notre Dame and offer a student’s perspective on life outside the bubble.

“It’s always very exciting to see students develop new work,” Kevin Dreyer, Notre Dame’s director of theatre, said. “We’re deeply committed to providing a safe space for them to explore ideas and develop their artistic voices.”

The FTT press release highlighted how “this year, FTT student playwrights add their voices to the ongoing campus conversation about dignity and inclusion with two new one-act plays about the struggles, consequences and rewards of coming out of the closet.”

The shows mark the beginning of the FTT season. The next show opening will be in November with “Six Characters in Search of an Author” by Luigi Pirandello, which explores the interaction between drama and reality.

There will be eight performances of ND Theatre NOW! The first is Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be 7:30 p.m. performances on Oct. 3 and Oct. 7 – 10. There will be two Sunday performances, on Oct. 5 and 12, at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $7 for students, $12 for faculty/staff/senior (65+) and $15 for general admission. Tickets can be purchased online or at the DPAC ticket office.

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About Caelin Miltko

I am a senior English and Irish language major, with a minor in Journalism. I spent the last year abroad in Dublin, Ireland and am currently a Walsh RA living in Pangborn.

Contact Caelin