Cloud Nine looks to blend comedy and drama

New play titled
Image courtesy of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication

Cloud Nine is a two-act play combined together to portray a time-shifting comedy of gender and sexuality by Caryl Churchill.

Ryan Lisman, 21-year-old psychology major, is one of the cast members and explains that they’ve rehearsed everyday for weeks for the premier show on Friday, Nov. 13.

“We’ve been rehearsing five days a week, six-to-ten everyday and really trying to get comfortable with our characters,” said Lisman. “It’s really interesting because we are all playing two characters in this play so understanding both characters is a challenge.”

In the first act, there are four dominant characters and four subservient characters, all taking place in a British colonial theme in Africa during the Victorian era. In the second half, however, they are all switched around – the same actors but in different roles. Act two is set in a London park in 1979.

However between the two acts, only about 25 years pass for the characters. The play in general helps portray Churchill’s own political message about how to accept people.

“We are doing a lot of view points and contact improve,” explains Hank Doughan, 21-year-old theater major. “It is basically all about unlocking your character and finding out your characters fore plan and how does your character walk through the space; how does your character interact with all the other scene partners and all the other characters in the cast. It’s all about how you relate to them physically, emotionally and mentally.”

Cast member Tyler Menjivar, 21-year-old theater major, explains that the two acts are completely different from each other.

“It’s like two completely different worlds,” said Menijvar. “The first half is far heighten comedy, and the other one is much more natural. I’ve been working on trying to find a truthful character in each act. I just want to connect with my character emotionally so I that I can fully embody my character.”

Tickets are now available for November 13-15 and November 18-22 all taking place in the Experimental Theatre of the Valley Performing Arts Center. General ticket prices are $20, seniors $17, faculty and staff $16, students $15 and early bird students can get their ticket for just $9 when purchased more than two weeks before the grand opening.

“I hope that the people who come see the show are able to come in with an open mind and really try to understand the themes that are trying to be said in the play,” said Lisman. “There is a lot to be said and I think it’s very relevant to college students today.