ND Theatre NOW presents student-directed play
Selena Ponio | Thursday, October 1, 2015
ND Theatre NOW is presenting “Wildflower,” a play by Lila Rose Kaplan, starting Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the Philbin Studio Theatre in DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
Senior film, television and theatre (FTT) major Anthony Murphy, the leader of this student driven project, said the five characters and the honesty of the play were elements that made “Wildflower” stand out amongst a stack of other plays. He said it was this distinctive nature that led to his decision in bringing “Wildflower” to life using the Notre Dame student community.
“I think it’s relevant to the Notre Dame community because the play gives a voice to misfits — a sector of people that are crippled by Notre Dame’s homogenous tendencies,” Murphy said.
Murphy said he began thinking about the production last spring. The play features the relationship between a mother and son living in Crested Butte.
“It’s been a long, yet rewarding road,” he said. “I have a stellar cast and production team who all took ownership of their roles and of the telling of the story. They’ve made my job much easier than it could have been.”
Murphy said the benefit of a student-driven production is the community the cast has built, which is evident in the unique blend of professionalism and camaraderie on and off the stage.
“We are a team of student artists. We respect each other and our individual work. And when the work is over, we’re friends. It’s an extraordinary experience,” he said.
Murphy has been an active member of the arts at Notre Dame, acting in both FTT and Pasquerilla East Musical Company (PEMCO) productions. Prior to ND Theatre NOW’s “Wildflower,” Murphy has also directed “PEMCO’s Revue 2014: Breaking Boundaries” and FTT’s “ND Theatre NOW: Out of Orbit.”
Murphy said he believes the arts are an integral part of the fabric of Notre Dame and act as a tool for communicating a message to the audience, both implicitly and explicitly. He said films and plays provide a platform of learning that is different from the usual lectures and PowerPoints students experience in a more formal, academic setting.
“The arts provide a platform for a visceral reaction of the audience,” Murphy said. “There’s power on the stage and people can feel that impact.”
Murphy said he wants the audience to understand the different perspectives of each character and hopes their final understanding of the show leaves them perplexed. He said the ending will leave many in a state of shock, but that ultimately, the conclusion of the play is up to personal analysis and interpretation.
“Confusion causes conversation, and conversation results in consensus. I want the audience to make their own opinion on how the play ended,” Murphy said.
“Wildflower” will be running from Oct. 1 through Oct. 11 and tickets can be purchased online on DPAC’s website. Tickets are $7 for students or $15 for regular admission.