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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Dim the lights, set the ‘mood’


    Sometimes it’s hard to imagine teachers outside of campus, but it’s important to remember they do more than try to teach us.

    There’s no better example than the new play showing at the Invisible Theatre from now until Sept. 25. Kathleen Clark’s 85-minute show called “In the Mood,” stars two UA professors.

    Kevin Black, an associate professor of practice, and Betsy Kruse Craig, an adjunct instructor, teach in the School of Theatre, Film and Television.

    This is Black’s sixth year at the UA, teaching a wide array of classes for theater majors and even some of the general education classes. But he spent many years in the professional world before coming to the university.

    Starting at the age of 17, he’s acted in both major markets, New York and Los Angeles, doing everything from the classics and Shakespeare to brand new plays like “In the Mood.” Black is also a part of the Arizona Repertory Theatre, acting alongside students to teach by example.

    Craig, on the other hand, actually started off as a graduate assistant 15 years ago while pursuing her master’s degree, coming back four years ago after working on her professional career and teaching at Pima Community College.

    Craig said she has been in more shows than she can count, which is understandable after doing six summer stock shows for six summers in a row in addition to plenty of others during the rest of the year.

    She also has a close relationship with the Invisible Theatre — she’s an artistic associate there, doing administrative work and directing shows.

    As far as the show goes, Craig plays the heroine, Perri Rubin. Craig describes Rubin as someone who chose to be a good wife, like her father wanted, instead of creating her own future.

    Craig describes her character as “a socialite who has sort of given up some of her dreams she had when she was younger … she’s intelligent, she’s a little neurotic, she’s a planner, a schemer, she means well. She’s very stylish and elegant, and her marriage is a little shallow.”

    Black gives a little more insight into the shallowness of it all quite well, explaining Derek’s motivation behind why their marriage is the way it is.

    “(Derek), depending on your attitude or point of view is either someone desperately trying to manage more relationships than he should have or a complete tool,” Black said of his character.

    That, of course, is up to the audience to decide based on their feelings about infidelity.

    The show offers a lot more than just a look at cheating, according to Black.

    It also tries to show that sometimes all the lying is just to make everyone happy, and that it’s not always “malicious or mean-spirited.”

    It’s funny too, though, according to Black and Craig.

    “It’s really appealing because it has elements of farce, which I’ve always found to be just so much fun to do, and so much fun for the audience,” Black said.

    “But I would also say that it’s a little bit more highbrow, too, or at least aspires to be … and there’s a really, really skilled set of actors who have the chops to handle this kind of material,” he said.

    Craig likes the unique take on a common story.

    “The storyline takes a shift that’s sort of unconventional and modern in a way,” Craig said. “It just doesn’t turn out the way you think it’s going to, and that makes it really exciting.”

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