We recently had an informative e-mail exchange with Lee Soroko, professor of performing arts, who is directing the show.
Give us a brief summary of Story Theatre.
Lee Soroko: Story Theatre is a collection of Brothers Grimm and Aesop’s tales by Paul Sills. Sills is the son and creative collaborator of Viola Spolin, whose revolutionary teachings on theatre games and improvisation changed the face of how acting is taught in every performance training program in the nation today.
Which of Grimm’s tales and Aesop’s fables will be in the production?
Lee Soroko: The production runs a little over an hour and ten stories are used: Little Peasant, Bremen Town Musicians, Robber Bridegroom, Henny Penny, Master-thief, Venus and the Cat, Fisherman and His Wife, Two Crows, and The Golden Goose.
Grimm’s fairytales are usually dark. Will this production take a lighter route or will it follow the original context?
Lee Soroko: Story Theatre is not moralistic, and is full of satire, murder, sex and deception
Who will be performing?
Lee Soroko: The production is unique because the focus is on showing the talent of our freshman class.
How long have the students been practicing?
Lee Soroko: Rehearsals began February 11 with a hiatus for spring break. This is somewhat problematic given how quickly we go up (two weeks into the quarter).
Tell us about your concept behind the set and costumes.
Lee Soroko: Tyler Tunny is the set designer, Dawn Testa is the costume designer and Robert Mund is the lighting designer, all of whom are professors here at SCAD.
The production concept is quite unique and innovative. Given that we often come to stories from looking at pictures, and that this is the Savannah College of Art and Design, we will enter Story Theatre from the stand point that everyone is an artist. Famous paintings from art history will be drawn while the action of the play takes places breaking the tradition and using a simultaneity of focus between the art being drawn and the actors telling the story.
Everyone is an artist and the design choices reflect this. The costumes are thus indicative of the time periods of the art created on stage.
Does this production cater to children? Who is the target audience?
Lee Soroko: The target audience is the SCAD community and it’s not appropriate for small children.
We are taking a large risk with this production and this may challenge the nature of what one expects when discussing or seeing these time-honored tales. Most people do not read them and rely on the PC, watered-down versions from TV or film.
These stories have very little to do with the Disney versions and I hope the audience experiences an innovative hour of live performance made manifest by a group a very talented freshmen here at the Savannah College of Art and Design. ç
Story Theatre will be performed at 8 p.m. April 11-14 at the Afifi Amphitheater, 324 MLK Jr. Blvd