Senior Kayleigh Clark presents her Senior Theatre Project, “Of One Cord,” this Saturday, Nov. 21, at 7 p.m. in Alford Auditorium. Clark wrote the script and directed the entire production.
Clark said the story tells of four people’s stories, which make one bigger story. “Of One Cord” tells the story of two best friends, Jonah (played by senior Caleb Peterson) and Eric (played by junior Calvin Hitchcock), and their relationships.
In the beginning of the play, Eric deals with the tragic death of his fiance (played by senior Kelcie Christenson), which affects Jonah as well. The secondary plot line deals with Jonah and his girlfriend, Michelle (played by junior Katie Gilbert).
“Jonah has a great internal struggle that’s caused by many things,” Peterson said, “but the most impactful struggle is with his girlfriend Michelle.”
Clark described Michelle as the “more villainous” character. However, Clark also said Michelle is a hard character to understand. She is an abusive girlfriend, which takes a toll on Jonah and consequently affects Eric.
The production shows these four individuals and how they deal with all of the stress surrounding their lives.
“This play is of a serious nature, but we are still able to enjoy the time that we rehearse together,” Peterson said.
Clark said the cast has played an integral part in the success of the production.
“If I didn’t have this particular group of people and their personalities,” she said, “this would not be the same play.”
Though Clark wrote the full-length play during the summer, the story first began to take shape during Clark’s play writing class she took last year. The full-length play arose from the short drama she performed in class, she said. Peterson, Hitchcock and Christenson were all a part of the excerpt that Clark directed for the class project.
Clark held auditions for the part of Michelle later on, and she chose Gilbert to carry the role.
“It was a great opportunity as a theatre major to go through the different processes that a director would go through,” Clark said.
Clark said she has grown both as a writer and a director through this production. In addition to the large time commitment of writing the play, Clark said the “gritty subject matter” made writing the play even more difficult.
The play is formatted as an arena theatre production, meaning that the audience is seated around the performers as they perform on the floor of the theatre. Clark wrote the play to last only 45 minutes, allowing for an audience response time after the performance where she and the cast will answer questions.
Clark invites the community to come see “Of One Cord,” which may be uncomfortable, but she said it is an important subject matter.
“I really want the Cedarville community to be brave enough to come and see and experience this,” she said.
Michael Shawn Carbaugh II is a sophomore music composition major and arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. He enjoys all kinds of writing, whether it be with musical notes or descriptive words.