Spring Play Puts Volatile Relationship In The Spotlight

Director Ted Gold, center, reacts as his cast members break character and fumble their lines during rehearsal in Decker Theatre at Clark College on May 9. (Andy Bao/The Independent)

How much are you willing to change to be with the one you love?

Clark’s drama production of “The Shape of Things” tackles this topic head on. The play follows nerdy college student \Adam who falls in love with an artist named Evelyn. Adam starts changing himself at Evelyn’s suggestion which impacts Adam’s life in ways he couldn’t possibly expect. The show is by playwright Neil LaBute and was written in 2001.

Clark’s production is directed by Ted Gold who also serves as the play’s technical director helping design the set. He has been involved with theatre since age 8 and has always enjoyed art.

Gold said that “with every show you’re growing in art.”

Actors Olga Gula, left, Sterling Buck,
center, and Lydia Fleming rehearse in
Decker Theatre at Clark College on
May 9. (Andy Bao/The Independent)

Gold describes the show’s set as “more abstract,” keeping the setting vague. For example, one scene is set in a coffee shop with the only recognizable set piece being a coffee table. Gold said that this gives the audience a chance to focus more on the characters and dialogue, which will provide details about the story and setting.

Gold said he hopes that as the play progresses the audience will subconsciously imagine more and more of the setting, becoming more immersed in the story and its characters.

Buck described his character, Adam, as anxious and insecure. He said over the course of the play he becomes more confident at the cost of his self-respect.

Buck’s last role was in Clark’s fall show, “A View from the Bridge.” Buck has been in theatre since high school, where he acted in every play, eventually winning an award for his performance.

One of the changes that Adam goes through is that he becomes more confident, which Buck shows through his posture. When he’s playing the less-confident Adam his posture is more slumped, while when playing the more-confident Adam his posture is more proper, with his shoulders and chin up.

When working with the other members of the cast, Buck said, his performance is even better, saying that everyone “plays off each other’s energy.”

The sentiment is shared by co-star Fleming who plays Evelyn. Fleming described her character as stern but multifaceted.

In 2013, Fleming performed in Clark’s “Rent” as Mimi. She said she once performed three different roles in one play and wants to act professionally in plays and movies, but not TV as she doesn’t want to be known for only one role.

Gold said what he loves about LaBute’s stories is that there’s typically a plot twist that leaves the audience with a feeling they were not expecting. He said that is the best kind of theater, because  “it sticks with you, it’s not over when the show is over.”

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