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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    The time is ‘Now’

    The time is Now

    What are you usually doing between 10 p.m. and midnight on weekends?

    While the most ambitious of us might be studying, it’s probably a fair bet that there’s not much entrepreneurship, literary analysis or concentrated theatrical production going on for most of us.

    But for the founders of the Now Theatre, late nights are when they’re working hardest.

    The theater company that was founded by and is run completely by students, stages contemporary works performed by and for young adults.

    “”Everything from our ticket prices to our late hours is designed for people under 25 who want to help us dissect art,”” said artistic director and theatre arts senior Nic Adams. “”Our shows can be momentous, revelatory, funny and poignant … but they’re not going to get any better without an astute audience of hungry and critical participants.””

    As managing director John Shartzer, a theater arts senior, says, the company was created out of a desire for more freedom on the stage.

    “”At larger theaters, they have salaries to pay,”” as well as a more concrete bottom line, he explained. “”We don’t have that. We can say something with a little more depth.””

    Adams said the Now Theatre is the brainchild of Matt Bowdren, a 2008 UA graduate who founded the company just over a year ago. 

    Bowdren “”wanted to create a company that was very ensemble-minded, and committed to putting young artists in charge,”” Adams said.

    Shartzer described the company as a “”playground for young actors.””

    “”I wasn’t involved in much of the company pre-development, save for … some pretty awesome late-night discussions, but I quickly became obsessed with the idea of helping out. Matt made me assistant director, and we suddenly found ourselves knee-deep in putting on a play,”” Adams said.

    Bowdren’s first show was Anthony Minghella’s “”Cigarettes and Chocolate,”” which the Now produced last September in association with the Rogue Theatre.

    Last season, the company also produced Edward Albee’s “”The Zoo Story,”” starring Shartzer and Adams, and Tennessee Williams’ “”This Property is Condemned.””

    “”We want to choose shows that speak to us artistically,”” Adams said.

    The Now Theatre is opening its second season with Neil LaBute’s “”Some Girl(s),”” the story of one man and four women who struggle with modern love.

    “”We like shows with a good momentum, focused intent, and, as Matt first wrote, ‘a hearty chuckle or two,'”” Adams said about selecting shows.

    UA students and young actors also handle the business, marketing, copywriting and public relations aspects of the company.

    “”It’s been horrible,”” Shartzer said with a smile about the responsibility of production. It’s been harder now that Bowdren has graduated and Adams is studying abroad in Guatemala, he said. 

    “”Some Girl(s)”” opens Thursday, Nov. 5.

    “”The play, which I read as kind of an existential cross-examination hiding under a veil of comedy, will make young participants laugh, connect, reflect and think,”” Adams explained.

    Shartzer, Lauren Orlowski, a family studies and acting senior, and four other actresses make up the cast of the production.

    Holly Carlson, a theatre arts senior who plays Lindsay in the show, said people should come see the show not just for the more racy aspects of the piece, but also to identify with the characters.

    Carlson said that though she isn’t personally as vengeful as her character, she can relate to how her character acts.

    “”Her revenge is very calculated,”” Carlson said. “”Although she wants it to seem like she hasn’t thought about it at all, she had obviously put a lot of thought into what she does. She’s ballsy.””

    Junior Danielle Hecht, who plays Tyler, said almost everyone can relate to the situations her character finds herself in.

    “”I’ve been in a relationship like that, in a situation like that,”” Hecht explained. “”Where you think ‘I liked that person,’ a friend, even, and then they’re gone.””

     

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