Cast shakes up stage in ‘Quake’ production

Any cast member will say that Quake, a play by Melanie Marnich, is not actually about an earthquake. Rather, it is a story about Lucy, a girl looking for what she thinks is love while traveling down a path of self-discovery.

The play shows her interactions with various partners, learning about herself through love and sexual connections.

“She’s just an average girl looking for love and doing everything she can, but in the end she realizes what she’s been searching for this whole time was not love, necessarily,” said Amy Burn, who will play the role of Lucy.

Rather than a huge cast with one actor per character, a handful of actors play multiple roles. The characters of Lucy (Burns) and Peggy Papsy, played by Ashtyn Sonner, are the only characters who maintain the same persona throughout the piece.

The dozen or so love interests and minor characters are played by Calvin Hudson, Mike Sims, Jordan Muller and Jordan O’Hara Smith.

The play is directed by senior Christie Debacker. Although this is not her directorial debut, this is her first main season production. This larger scale production has posed challenges for her with managing budgets, costumes and the set.

“It was definitely difficult getting all the creative minds going the same way, trying to express my vision to other people and getting them to agree and work toward that,” Debacker said.

Quake is this year’s entry for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. The competition for college-level theater provides participants with an opportunity for scholarships and networking.

One of the challenges the actors face is to portray personalities not unlike their own.

“Well, I’m not a serial killer,” Sonner said. “She views a lot of life the same way I do. This character’s thoughts have been closer to me than any others.”

Generally speaking, the play and the characters are easy for audiences to relate to.

“I think there’s a little bit of Lucy in everyone,” Debacker said.

The play runs from Oct. 17 – Oct. 20 in the UTC Showcase Center. All performances are at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. General admission tickets are $8.

For more information, call (936) 294-1339.

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