Road to Nirvana, the independent theater production currently showing in the ASCSU Senate Chambers, is definitely not for the faint of heart.
Arthur Kopit’s over the top screenplay is a scathing commentary on David Mamet’s “Speed the Plow.” Mamet’s play, which is showing at the Bas Blue theatre later this year, is itself a scathing commentary on the money hungry nature of the Hollywood film industry.
In the opening scene, the first thing the audience sees is a topless woman. Theatre major Stephanie Tschetter, who plays the role of Lou, has no problem exposing herself in front of an audience two nights a week.
“We treated it on a professional level and I went at my own pace so I didn’t have a problem with it,” Tschetter said, “Kopit did it for a reason . . . to prepare you for what you are about to see.”
The play continues on in a display of heavy drinking and the use of multiple illicit drugs, many acts of violence as well as numerous other utterly degrading exchanges occurring between characters.
“Have you been warned concerning what you are about to see?” Kat Miller, talent and resource director said. ” There is partial nudity, cuss words, really it’s … It’s dirty but still really funny, it’s for people our age.”
Tyler Davis director of, Road to Nirvana, says “(it) takes everything Mamet tried to apply to his show and either amplifies it or makes fun of it.”
In addition to serving as director, Davis also plays one of the lead roles.
“One of our male actors wasn’t able to continue on with the show and the only other male who had been at all the rehearsals and knew what was going on was me,” said Davis. “Directing was kind of a group effort from that point on.”
Soon to be Famous, an independent theater company created a little over a year ago, began when a group of friends banded together and decided to go after their dreams.
“Our mission is to provide theatre for people who don’t normally come to theatre…it means we do a lot of shows in bars and clubs because we have no real space of our own. It is nice though because college and professional theater comes with a lot of restrictions that we don’t have to deal with working on our own,” Miller said.
Even though the university Senate chambers provided an amicable environment for the production, bringing the show to CSU was not without its difficulties. Many of the shows’ difficulties occurred in securing the rights to produce the show.
“I don’t think Kopit’s reaction was ever intended to be a mass production,” Anderson said. “There are literally years between the production dates for this show.”
Even when playwrights do allow production of their work, they are more likely to grant the rights to a professional company because they have a better chance of making money.
“They pretty much know they won’t make anything off of us.” Anderson said. “For us, it is a chance to have a really good time and maybe make a few bucks for our next show.”
Road to Nirvana is showing Friday and Saturday nights at 9 p.m. in the ASCSU Senate Chambers. Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for non-students. For more information, visit www.soontobefamous.net
aint of heart