Apr 132005
Authors: Casey Cisneros

Tickets for the play are $6 for students and $8 for the general public and can be purchased over the phone at 491-4TIX.

On Wednesday night the audience at the Edna Rizley Griffin Concert Hall got a chance to witness a unique collaborative production put on by the CSU music, theatre and dance department and the CSU Symphony Orchestra.

"Every Good Boy Deserves Favors," which will also be playing Friday and Saturday, is a story about one man losing his everyday life as a peaceful citizen and his will to maintain dignity while in a mental hospital/prison in the former Soviet Union.

Eric Prince, the play's director and a professor in the theatre department, believes the play has a theme that can resonate through society today.

"(The play) is about individual freedom and the state, which is a relevant and hot topic here right now in the states," Prince said.

Prince also selected this play because of the combination of theatre and music. On stage, with the actors, is a full symphony that plays a diverse score throughout the performance.

Matt Murphy, a senior English education major, plays Alex, one of the main characters. He thinks the symphony brings new dimensions to the stage.

"(The symphony) acts as metaphor, as practicality and scenery in the play," Murphy said. "It's definitely one of the most unique experiences I have ever done."

The music is syncopated with the action and dialogue onstage, presenting the actors with many challenges.

"As an actor if you mess up there is not another person to bail you out. There's 80 other people; you have to be perfect," Murphy said.

The orchestra also works as an ongoing comic staple in the play because it is an illusion in the head of Ivanov, the other main character. Ivanov, who is a mix between Hunter S. Thompson, the March Hare and Mozart, is played by Eric Corneluson, a senior theatre major.

"Ivanov is a lunatic who hears orchestras," Corneluson said.

With the orchestra in the background, the cast of six actors has to inhabit a small and meager set at the front of the stage. The props consist of a chalkboard and elementary school desk for the classroom scenes with Alex's son, Sasha, and two cots and a physician's desk for the other scenes in the asylum with Alex and Ivanov.

Alex is incarcerated because he protested the government's unjust prosecution of one of his friends. Once in the hospital, Alex goes on a hunger strike to protest his sentence.

"He is a character who is a man of integrity, a man of moral beliefs, a man who is passionate, and is honest and is real and firm," Murphy said.

The play's other scenes are outside the prison, where Alex's son Sasha waits for his father to come home. Sasha is played by Luke Siddens, a10-year-old Fort Collins resident.

Siddens auditioned with other hopeful young actors and was cast by Prince.

Although this production has taken up a lot of Siddens' time, he still enjoys the play because of comic appeal.

"It's the kind of humor of a lunatic who doesn't know that no one else can hear (the orchestra)," Siddens says.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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