by Katie Milligan
Senior theatre majors Heather Lange and Stephen DeJong will perform their senior theatre project, “Talley’s Folly,” on March 16th at 7 p.m. in Alford Auditorium. Both have poured time, passion, and hard work into their show for Cedarville students to enjoy.
Lange and DeJong have both been heavily involved in mainstage productions during their time at Cedarville. Highlights for both students include roles in “The Music Man,” “The Diary of Anne Frank,” and “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe,” as well as DeJong’s additional roles in “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Father of the Bride,” and “Jane Eyre.” Both enjoy experiencing the alternative worlds that theatre provides and cherish fun memories from previous shows.
“I love being an escape from reality for people,” Lange wrote in an email interview. “Theater transports audiences to places and times they might never actually see.”
Likewise, DeJong loves sharing his gifts on stage. “It’s a way that I can be myself, and let myself have fun,” he wrote.
Though senior theatre projects are usually done individually, Lange and DeJong’s visions were similar: both wanted to perform something simple, but challenging. By combining their projects, they could put on a longer show.
While searching for a script, DeJong discovered Lanford Wilson’s “Talley’s Folly,” a romantic comedy set in the midst of World War II. Characters Matt and Sally meet a year after a summer fling. Both defensively hide the dark secrets of their past that prevent them from being vulnerable, and they spend the play’s entirety attempting to sort out their feelings for each other.
The personalities of the characters, which are remarkably similar to Dejong and Lange’s in real life, attracted them to the story. Lange and DeJong will play Matt and Sally respectively, the only actors in a two-person cast.
“I love that Sally is a fireball,” Lange said. “She is such a free spirit and I really relate to that.”
“It feels like I’m playing a real person,” DeJong, who usually plays villains, said. “Matt deals with problems the same way I do. He hides any anger, any stress, behind a facade of humor.”
Though the play fits both actors perfectly, it still presents several daunting challenges. It’s a single scene that lasts about 90 minutes; there are no set changes or intermissions, only constant dialogue.
“Two actors on stage for an entire hour and a half with no breaks is incredibly stretching and difficult,” Lange said. “I have learned so much about getting into the mindset of a character and staying there.”
Additionally, DeJong feels that keeping a high energy level is key to the play’s success.
“When you play a character for that long it drains your energy,” he said.
DeJong and Lange both are extremely grateful for the dedication of their crew throughout this project, including freshman stage manager Hunter Johnson, sophomore lighting designer and operator Sam Partridge, senior sound designer and operator Tiffany Denen, and junior director Natalia Kirychuk.
Kirychuk, Lange’s roommate and a close friend to both actors, especially enjoyed her role in the production.
“‘Talley’s Folly’ has been an incredible script to work with because the characters are so complex,” Kirychuk said in an email. “I was excited to help [Lange and DeJong] form unique characters that are a little bit outside their comfort zones.”
Lange and DeJong said the show is valuable for all to see, and hope audiences will enjoy and learn from it.
“It’s a beautiful story about life,” DeJong said. “It’ll make you laugh and it’ll make you cry.”
Support these students’ talents by attending the performance free of charge on March 16 at 7 p.m. in Cedarville’s Alford Auditorium.
Katie Milligan is a freshman English major. She enjoys taking polaroid photos, eating pasta, and watching Disney movies.