Senior Thesis performances begin at AAC

This Thursday and Friday, Mar. 3 and Mar. 4, the honors senior theses performances of Theater and Dance majors Molly Belsky ’16 and Schirin Schenkermayr ’16 will be held in at Garmany Hall in Austin Arts Center. Belsky’s production, Undrowned, will be performed on Thursday at 4:30PM, and Friday at 7:30PM. Schenkermayr’s, Fireworks, will be performed Thursday at 7:30PM, and Friday at 4:30PM.
Belsky’s non-musical play, Undrowned, runs approximately 45 minutes in length and features a three-person cast of Chanel Erasmus ’15, Madison Hummer ’18, and Addie Jenkins ’18. The original script by Belsky was a product of the research portion of her thesis project, which analyzed the role of female hysteria and insanity in theater. The three main literary subjects of Belsky’s research were the characters Madea from Euripedes, Ophelia from Hamlet, and Harper from Angels in America. Belsky’s original characters are “each in some way fascinated with [their] source material.”
According to Belsky, the plot of Undrowned is as follows: “A woman has committed a terrible crime, and a social worker has been hired to determine her sanity and rationality (or lack thereof). However, this social worker has demons and struggles of her own. Undrowned is an original one act play that deals with women and mental illness, how we can raise ourselves up and pull ourselves down, and whether patient and therapist are ever as different as they appear.”
Belsky, who is concentrating in Acting within the Theater and Dance major, wrote the screenplay over the course of the fall semester and winter break. “This is the biggest directing endeavor I’ve taken on here,” she said. “Undrowned is a story about the unity of women, and how we can fixate on the stories of others to tell our own stories.”
Schenkermayr’s production, Fireworks, also a non-musical play, runs about 70 minutes in length and features a cast of exclusively first years and seniors. The cast includes Franchesca De La Cruz ‘19, Hannah Grosberg ‘19, Hayden Mueller ’19, Sarah-Kristin Vazquez ’19, Shanelle Morris ‘16, Phil Oxnard ‘16, and Forrest Robinette ’16.
Schenkermayr, who is concentrating in Arts in the Community within the Theater and Dance major, decided to direct her own version of a script written by Dalia Taha. Set in a Palestinian town in the early 21st century, Fireworks follows the lives of two neighboring families attempting to preserve innocence and the lives of their children during the Palestinian-Israeli crisis. A production of Fireworks is currently being played at the Royal Court Theatre in London.
Admission to both shows is free, but tickets are required and can be picked up at the AAC Box Office. Be sure to come out and support two student-run productions that are sure to delight crowds.

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