UM students transform stage

Published 2:21 pm Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hauling nearly 3,000 pounds of sand up two flights of stairs is a giant step for students in transforming the stage in Reynolds Theatre at the University of Montevallo into a Nantucket, Mass., beach. But that was on the agenda Sept. 20 as theatre arts students formed a “bucket brigade” to haul about 2 1/2 yards of sand to the main stage in Reynolds Hall.

The sand will help create a beach for the play, “To Gillian on her 37th Birthday,” which will be presented Oct. 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 10 at 2 p.m. in Reynolds Theatre. David Callaghan, professor of theatre and chair of the department of communication arts will direct the show.

To enhance the beach scene, theatre faculty sent out a campus-wide call for a rowboat that will be placed upstage, upside down. After the staging is complete, audience members will be expecting to smell salt in the air amid the calls of seagulls.

“To Gillian on her 37th Birthday” is about a man, David, who struggles to move on with life after the accidental death of his wife, Gillian. David spends most of his time on the beach, communicating with his dead wife’s spirit and unwittingly neglecting his teenage daughter, Rachel. Against his wishes, family and friends gather at David’s beach house to remember Gillian’s birthday. The fragile nature of love, loss, family and carrying on is explored in this play.

The UM theatre season continues in November with the musical, “Baby,” a story of three couples who discover their impending parenthood at the same time. The show will be presented Nov. 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. in Reynolds Theatre.

“Eurydice” will come to the UM stage Feb. 18-19 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. It will be presented in the Chichester Theatre in Reynolds Hall.

The spring theatre season will continue with “The Bacchae.” It will be staged April 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. and April 10 at 2 p.m. in Reynolds Theatre.

A Spring Theatre Festival and a Musical Theatre Revue, both coming in April, will wrap up the spring season.

Cynthia Shackelford is the director of public relations at the University of Montevallo.