- State News
- Gas Industry
Student-made ‘The Great North’ opens in Dragon’s Lair Theater
January 24, 2013
“The Great North” opens in the Dragon’s Lair Theatre on Friday, Feb. 1. This one-act play is written by Joshua Troxler and directed by Tobias Anderson.
The show is entirely independent from faculty and staff.
“Tobias Anderson and myself wanted to do a show.” Troxler said. “We noticed that there were no male parts available early this year in the department. After debating over some other existing scripts, I offered to write a one-act when the plays we were looking at were not working out.”
In light of the short time period they had to get the show into gear, Anderson has had to keep himself and the actors on their toes.
“The biggest lesson I have learned is the importance of a devoted and close cast… This has been a very short and productive rehearsal process, unlike any I've experienced before,” Anderson said.
This all-star cast includes Alyssa Allen, Molly Collier, Makenzie Lefever, Marcus Coleman, Nathan Bahn, Michael Sampsell, and Charlie Marshall as well as Katie "Dear" Dayer as the Stage Manager, Casey Troxler for Lighting Design, and Brandan Sewall for Set Design.
“This has been a great and challenging directing project,” Anderson said. “This will be my first project without help from a professor and I am very excited about what my cast and crew have in store.”
The playwright and director have been working together on this show both forming it into something they never quite expected.
Often this collaboration could lead to tension, but not for this pair.
“These is no other person I would rather be working with on my first play…Toby is a very open and attentive director. I leave a lot of the decisions up to him. I believe that theatre is a collaborative art form. I created the story. It is his job to tell it,” Troxler said.
“He does an amazing job at making sure that his vision and my vision are still clear. Most importantly, he honors my story and input.”
Anderson is a senior. Troxler graduated this past December.
“Even though I am a graduate, I still see myself as a student of theatre. Toby and I can work together so well because we both don't claim to have mastered anything. I love having mentors. However, right now learning alongside someone who is learning and not worrying about impressing anyone, is perfect.”
The writing process of “The Great North” has been an interesting journey.
“I kept the Great North at a distance. I tried hard not to put to many things into the characters that I could really see in myself. If I started seeing myself in these boys, I re-wrote it. I wanted to push myself to create very specific people,” Troxler said.
“‘The Great North’ was very zany and fast. I liked that. Some of the sections were written very late at night when the dialogue just seemed fresh and scary. It really felt like I was going with the flow of these weird characters.”
But the initial writing of the play was nothing compared to the revision it went through.
“I had two workshops of the play before Toby started rehearsals. The first took place in NYC with the Labyrinth Intensive group. (AKA: really amazing and talented friends.) They read volume 1 of the Great North. It was very cool. The feedback was honest and super constructive. I took the play back home and wrote volume two in almost two weeks,” Troxler shared.
“I then took that volume to Trinity Rep. in Providence, RI. That was an honor for me. The reading was held in a very nice rehearsal space and was well attended by Brown graduate students. The feedback again was honest and super constructive. After that, I wrote volume 3 in an afternoon. That is the volume you will see February 1-2. Along with some minor changes”
This is Troxler’s second play. The first, “Russel Clove’s Suicide” (working title), had its first reading back in August. The first reading of its second volume is coming up in February in NYC. He also works on 3-4 addition outlines every day.
“Theatre is happening. Stories are forming. This play is about forming a story out of events that have formed you. It's a scary little tale of story creation. I don't want to give away to much. Let's save the mystery from it for opening night,” Troxler said.