This spring, student, faculty, and staff theatre artists from the BU Players, a proud Resident Producer of Arts in Bloom, have teamed up with the professionals at Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble to create and stage a new adaptation of the Luigi Pirandello play Six Characters in Search of an Author.
In the play, as dreamt up by Pirandello, six characters, abandoned by their playwright, interrupt a theatre company’s rehearsal in the hopes of finally telling the story they each carry within them. When the original play was first performed in 1921 it caused a riot in the theatre for its surprising and unusual premise. In this new adaptation of the play, written by Bloomsburg University theatre professor David A. Miller, who also directs the production, there are new questions asked about what stories we tell on stage, whose stories we tell, and how we tell them.
Student actors are on stage with members of BTE’s Resident Acting Company in this co-production. It’s a unique experience for professionals and for students. “Doing academic theatre while also being able to work with a professional theatre ensemble is something that isn’t always readily available to artists who are in school,” says Abigail Golden, a Bloomsburg University student who plays The Step-Daughter in the production and also performs as a member of BTE Improv. “There is so much learning that happens in the production process, so being able to learn alongside artists who have more experience and knowledge than me is so valuable.”
Olivia Spory, who plays The Son and will graduate this spring, adds, “I’ve been able to gain more connections and have heard stories from them about their work that will help support my decisions for the future after school.” First-student actor Rebekah Vermeulen, who plays Bex, shares of the professional actors, “I’ve always felt welcome and encouraged to ask questions or explore things as well as not be afraid to get to know them as people and actors.”
The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble, a professional theatre company in downtown Bloomsburg, is in its 45th season. There have been numerous collaborations with the BU Players during the theatre’s history, including Hamlet, You Can’t Take It with You, and many family-friendly productions during the summers. In one of the most recent collaborations, Remembered: A Play inspired by Rosemont Cemetery, student artists and professionals from BTE staged the play in the downtown Bloomsburg cemetery that inspired the play.
Six Characters in Search of an Author runs Thursday, February 23 through Sunday, March 12 at the Alvina Krause Theatre at 226 Center Street in downtown Bloomsburg. The production contains mature content not suitable for all audiences. For more about the content and about the BU Players, visit buplayers.org.
Tickets are free for BU Students with ID and CGA Activities Card holders thanks to funding provided by CGA. Students should call the BTE Box Office (570-784-8181) to arrange these tickets. Other ticket prices are for adults, $30; senior citizens and young adults (21-30 years of age), $26; non-BU students, $13.