by Chris Herring, Catawba College Class of 2011
Take a break from the everyday monotony of the office as you enjoy Catawba College's inaugural performance of the season, "The Mistakes Madeline Made," a coming-of-age comedy about an office of people with unusual problems. The production will be offered at 6:55 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 28-29, and at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, September 30 – October 2 in Hedrick Theatre on campus.
Directed by Dr. Woody Hood, Professor of Theatre Arts and Dean of the Shuford School of Performing Arts, "The Mistakes Madeline Made" is not about Madeline at all. Rather, it is the story of a young woman named Edna who works in a basement-office for a rich family of higher powers whom we never see. Edna has to put up with an overbearing perfectionist of a boss named Beth, and an absurd co-worker, Wilson, who expresses his feelings in a bizarre way. The horrors of the office are exacerbated when her dead brother shows up. Her life outside the office is revealed with a series of unhealthy love connections. But the real fun comes when Edna begins stealing office supplies, develops a fear of bathing, and stops living clean entirely. Let the dirty games begin!
The play, written by young and upcoming playwright Elizabeth Meriwether, was published in 2006. She graduated from Yale College in 2004, and has already had four of her own full-length plays published, and is even penning an upcoming film directed by Ivan Reitman. About some of her writing, she says, "People want to put women in one box, and I'm interested in how women can be everything at once. She can be a slut who wants to fall in love, or she can party too much, but she's still very smart. I want to expand the vocabulary... We'll see how long I last."
Despite its comedy and silliness, the play overall is, "about forgiveness. Forgiving ourselves, forgiving others, and learning to let go," Dr. Hood explains. The set design, by Theatre Arts Professor Dave Pulliam, is a box set, complete with two walls and a ceiling. The set represents the oppressive lifestyle that people are all too familiar with, and the play dares to question if it is even possible to revolt against this oppression in this day and age. Can a person really refuse to bathe and turn it into a political act? Can one live this way and still be a social animal? Come find out in Catawba's premiere production of the season, "The Mistakes Madeline Made."
The production features Yolanda McClure of Eden as Edna; Jesse Siak of Hendersonville as Buddy; John Millbank of Carrboro as Drake, Jake, and Blake; Katie Hauser of Robert, La., as Beth; and Chris Clowers of Whitefish Bay, Wis., as Wilson.
Crew members include Professor Chris Zink, lighting design; Professor Dave Pulliam, set design; Dustin Sullivan of Monroe, sound design/engineering; Chris Fink of Hendersonville, assistant director; Zach McRae of Hendersonville, assistant set design; CM Garrison of Asheville, stage manager; Rayshaun Sandlin of Knightdale, assistant stage manager; Chris Speer of Hamptonville, assistant stage manager; Sean Henderson of Concord, master carpenter; Annabelle Prince of Charlotte, lead carpenter; Canaan Cox of Hendersonville, master electrician; Kylie Beinke of Apex, lead electrician; Quinn McRae of Hendersonville, props master; Mike Innis of Charlotte, running crew; Chris Herring of Oakboro, publicity; Claire Robinson of Houston, Texas, hair/makeup/costume design; Sydney Berk of Encino, Calif., assistant lighting design; Vaughn Pollman of Overland Park, Kansas, assistant technical director; Jodye Carroll of Mt. Pleasant, S.C., lead carpenter; Adam Weiner of Trenton, N.J., lead carpenter; Zack Lynch of Selbyville, Del., lead electrician; Jeffery Salerno of Lake Mary, Fla., lead electrician; Kat Campagna of Watertown, Conn., first hand; Julie Dean of Greenwood, S.C., second hand; and Jered Shults of Sevierville, Tenn., charge artist.
Tickets for Catawba College's production of "The Mistakes Madeline Made" are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and non-Catawba students. Group discounts are available. For more details, contact the Catawba College theatre box office at (704) 637-4481, or buy your tickets online at www.showtix4u.com.
Photos and poster by Chris Herring
PHOTOS: "The Mistakes Madeline Made" Theatre Production