Secret in the Wings
A group of nine Luther students presented the spring play “The Secret in The Wings,” written by Mary Zimmerman last week in the Center for the Arts, Jewel Theatre. Performed five times May 2-5 it was a big, if slightly confusing, hit for all audiences.
“I don’t know if the audience will get it right away,” cast member Tyler Hagy (‘13) said. “The way that Mary Zimmerman wrote it, I think it is supposed to be disorienting. Most of the stories are fairly ugly, and a bit off-putting. The structure works in a way that creates an experience where you don’t know what’s going on, and that’s the way its supposed to be.”
The play is made up of seven different story lines that are broken up in segments as they explore the darker side of fairy tales. The actors had to constantly switch from character to character, a feat that can be very challenging in a play.
“At first it was hard figuring out how to transition to a new character so quickly,” Michael Ehrecke (‘15) said.
“Then it became about trying to make sure the audience understood what was going on.”
The cast of “The Secret in the Wings” was a very young one. It was comprised of firstyears Cady Buche, Emily Ebertz, Michael Ehrecke, Tim Komatsu and Kadie Smith; sophomores Anna Murray, Cydney Roelandt and Nelson Schreen and junior Tyler Hagy.
“I think there were definitely times where we messed around a little more than we should have,” Tim Komatsu (‘15) said. “But it became a really fun learning experience for all of us since we were predominantly in the same range of learning.”
In a given production it is very rare to have over half of the cast be first-year students; it is something that has never happened to director Bob Larson before.
“It just happened to work out the way it did, with so many first years,” Larson said. “The people who were cast showed a quick ability to improvise and think quickly on their feet. The only real challenge was concentration, because they brought so much energy into each rehearsal.
Sometimes its hard to corral all of that energy and get focused. That being said, I am excited because there is so much young talent in the theatre department right now.”
The talent extended past the stage as well. The entire musical score was created by composition students Sydney Kjerstad (‘13) and Max Lafontant (‘13).
“I have had many student composers over the years and Sydney is the latest,” Larson said. “She brought Max into the process this year, and they did an amazing job.
They not only had to create an original score for many transitional pieces, but also had to set the lyrics that were already written to music.”
There were three big songs in the play, with lyrics already written. Kjerstad set these to music, working with the actors through the entire process. She and Lafontant also created many of the transitional pieces that moved the different story segments along smoothly.
“Both Sydney and Max were very involved in the sense that they came to many rehearsals to work with us,” Hagy said. “It is always fun to work with peers in all areas of a production, and getting to see as many students involved as possible.”
“The Secret in the Wings” was funny, weird, and a little bit scary. The very non-traditional piece received great audience feedback. Luckily, the nine cast members will be around to grace Luther stages for a long time.