Elmira College Theatre to premiere original play, 'Theatre Unmasked'
ELMIRA, N.Y. (WENY) -- Elmira College's Theatre Department is gearing up to premiere an original play, Theatre Unmasked.
The 45-minute play is comprised of short skits written by the production's six-person cast. Each scene explores several themes about identity and belonging as the cast navigates their lives before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's kind of a biopic," said Jadde Didonato-White, a senior at Elmira College. "That's why [it's called]Theatre Unmasked. We're finally able to have shows [where] we don't have to worry about necessarily anything happening. You don't have to wear a mask anymore, and it's just about moving forward."
The play's concept stems from an interview-based theatre technique created by Ping Chong. Theatre Director Rebecca Rich made the cast complete a set of questions about themselves, before pairing them up to share their answers with each other. After hearing what their partners had to say, the cast members then wrote skits based on what they learned about their partners.
"This is [Rich's] first year, so we wanted to do something creative and different that we haven't done before," said Didonato-White. "I'm a senior, and I've never seen anything like this. It's been so much fun to do."
Freshman Ayden Herreid, who had done theatre prior to college, was also wowed by the concept.
"This is the first time I've done anything like this," he said. "So, this is just a little bit of a new flash of theatre; it's a different side of it."
Theatre Unmasked plays Friday, Nov. 11, and Sat., Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Elmira College's Watson Theatre. Performances are free and open to the public.
The show does include some adult language and themes. Viewer discretion is advised.