STP Encourages Critical Thinking and Audience Engagement

Senior theatre major Amy (Douglas) Cundall will present her senior theatre project, “Ruby Moon,” 8 p.m. on Nov. 21 in Alford Auditorium. The STP is a reenactment of Matt Cameron’s revised “Ruby Moon” (2005) and is presented by special arrangement with Matt Cameron and Currency Press.

Cundall, who is both performing in and co-directing the play, said “Ruby Moon” will be a new experience for Cedarville. It’s a pretty dark play, she said, and it’ll be performed on the floor among the audience in an arena-style staging. She said that’s uncommon for theatre in general.

Ten scenes, as well as a prologue and epilogue, unfold, revealing the grief of two parents — Ray and Sylvie Moon — as they deal with the disappearance of their daughter, Ruby, Cundall said. Ruby’s absence has motivated Mr. and Mrs. Moon to strike up conversation with their suburban neighbors about what may have happened to her. The play highlights how the behavior of the Moons, as well as that of their neighbors, shapes and defines the community.

The play also shows how people deal with grief, said Rebecca Baker, Cundall’s adviser for the project.

“This is a very good play that asks questions,” Baker said. “Like how do you interact in your neighborhood? How do you treat people?”

“Ruby Moon” is an absurdist play, meaning it gives members of the audience pieces of the story and leaves them trying to figure out how to fit them together.

“It’s a very complex storyline, but very fragile,” said junior Madison Hart, who is the co-director and stage manager for the show. “Like, you pull out one thread and it all collapses.”

Hart said the play is dark but still relevant to Christians.

“We still have this goal of glorifying God in art,” she said. “We can take a story that’s not conventional and tell it in a beautiful and redemptive way.”

Junior theatre major Drew Poplin and Cundall play Ray and Sylvie Moon respectively. They also play the neighbors, three each, by changing characters onstage.

Cundall said the neighbors represent stereotypes of different parts of society. There’s a religious fanatic, a mad scientist, a soldier and a clown, among others.

The characters and plot of “Ruby Moon” make it a tragedy, Cundall said. The story is very emotional.

Cundall and Poplin STP

Amy Cundall and Drew Poplin play multiple characters each in Cundall’s STP, “Ruby Moon,” Nov. 21 (photo: Kyria Luxon).

Poplin said the play is a good reminder that there’s pain in the world and that we’re all affected by it. We aren’t safe in our Cedarville bubble, he said, but that doesn’t mean we should lose hope.

“As Christians we have the hope in God,” Poplin said. “And even when we go through unimaginable, tough times — as hard as it is to believe in the moment — we know that God’s doing this for a reason and that what he does is good and just.”

Cundall said she chose “Ruby Moon” for her STP because it isn’t conventional. She said the play breaks the fourth wall. That is, it allows the audience to directly communicate and engage with the actors rather than passively observe.

And Cundall said the ability to impact the audience is one of the reasons she wants to go into theatre.

“I just have fun doing it (acting), and I believe God has gifted me with the talent for doing it,” Cundall said.

Cundall most recently played Aunt March in Cedarville’s “Little Women.” She’s also been in charge of designing and creating props on campus.

“You can just tell that she’s so passionate for (theatre), and I think that’s part of what makes (her STP) so good and what brings it so much to life,” Hart said.

Admission for the STP is free, and seats will go on a first-come-first-serve basis.

“It’ll be really fun to come with friends,” Hart said. “It’s definitely one of those shows that you’ll want to discuss and think over.”

Laura Ullom is a freshman English and Spanish major and arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. She enjoys creating and solving riddles and playing the occasional game of chess.

No Replies to "STP Encourages Critical Thinking and Audience Engagement"

    Leave a reply

    Your email address will not be published.