STP Preview: ‘The Giver’

by Katie Milligan

Remy Patterson’s upcoming senior theatre project, “The Giver,” will be performed on April 20th at 7 p.m. at Alford Auditorium. It will stand out as a unique, challenging, and thought-provoking production.

Patterson said his passion for the theater began at a young age and has only grown in his time at Cedarville.

“One of my favorite things is the ability to tell a story [and] to see that people are impacted by it,” Patterson said.

Patterson chose Eric Coble’s adaptation of Lois Lowry’s award-winning novel, “The Giver.” He had read the book in middle school and was fascinated with its premise.

“It’s such an interesting way to look at things,” Patterson said. “I thought … it would be a good opportunity to showcase everything I’ve learned here.”

“The Giver” is set in a futuristic dystopian world lacking color and emotion. Everyone is assigned a role in society. The main character, Jonas, is chosen to become the Receiver and undergoes special training with the Giver to receive the truth about the past in memory form. Once he realizes the hypocrisy and deception in his community, he must decide how to take action.

The cast consists of seven actors: Nathan Robertson as the father, Savannah Hart as the mother and chief elder, Hunter Johnson as Jonas, Xandra French as Lilly and Fiona, Gabrielle Bauman as Larissa and Rosemary as well as the director, Jean-Luc Schieferstein as Asher and Remy Patterson as the Giver.

“I liked the challenge of being the only character that really understands the world,” Patterson said. “I felt like the Giver was where I could really showcase myself.”

According to Bauman, the absence of color presented a unique challenge.

“It’s not something I would have chosen had I been in charge because it’s really hard, but [Patterson has] thought through so many different things,” Bauman said.

Patterson worked closely with the sound and lighting crews to ensure his artistic vision is carried out. Full grayscale will be accomplished through costumes, sets, hair and makeup. The color flashes in the memories will be shown through lighting.

He also brought in many outside sources, including a team of past and present theater and art majors to write music, serve as stage crew, and design the set.

Additionally, senior studio art major Alex Paat’s art will be featured at the entrance of the theater.

“He focuses on a lot of color and emotion in his art,” Patterson said. “We’re trying to get the full sensory experience, that really forces [the audience] to think about pain and emotion.”

Bauman, a senior theatre major as well as Patterson’s close friend and director, said she has enjoyed seeing him grow through this production.

“It’s been really fun to see him get a full concept as a theater maker and not just an actor,” she said.

Bauman said she also appreciates the dedication of the cast.

“We kind of get a community of collaboration among the cast,” she said. “The actors have contributed so much and have worked together so well.”

Johnson, a freshman theatre major playing Jonas, said he is discovering how to best portray his ever-changing character.

“The biggest challenge has been grappling with all the different emotions Jonas goes through,” he said.

Johnson acted alongside Patterson in “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” and has learned from his example.

“He’s very passionate about whatever he’s doing, no matter what,” Johnson said.

Overall, the entire cast feels that the uniqueness of this play makes it a must-see for Cedarville students.

“I feel like a lot of Cedarville students love this book, and we really want to do it justice,” Bauman said.

Patterson is confident that his project will be a success.

“It’ll be a very unique theater experience that I think a lot of people will enjoy,” Patterson said.

“The Giver” will be performed on April 20 at 7 p.m. at Alford Auditorium. Admission is free.

Katie Milligan is a freshman English major. She enjoys taking polaroid photos, eating pasta, and watching Disney movies.

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