Students from Brock’s DART 4F56 class brought Maria Irene Fornes’ play Fefu and Her Friends to life on October 21 and 22.
This first wave feminist play was staged in a setting so intimate, it was meant to immerse the viewers directly into the world of Fefu. With audience on all sides the production is self contained within its own bubble.
The play is set in the 1930s and follows the story of eight individual women from different backgrounds and their desire to change the world they live in while also struggling and dealing with their own heartache and versions of oppression.
Several aspects of the show were well thought out and executed. The clean and balanced set allowed for the actors to show off their skill and technique. Lighting designs were simple yet effective, especially in regards to Julia’s bedroom sequence with a room of mirrors and a single light source. The playwright’s choice to have the audience move from “room to room” within the “house” was a unique choice. The ability to hear the rest of the scenes going on simultaneously deepened the illusion of multiple actions happening at once but also distracted from the present scene.
The actors put on a great show The minimalism in staging the performance greatly rested on their talent and skill. Alexandra Li Tomulescu’s portrayal of Fefu was well constructed and showcased the strange yet endearing character to captivate the audience. Julia as played by Nikka Collison quickly captured the audience’s attention. Collison was able to show the audience more than what was on the surface of her character.
Though the first act was well done, it pales in comparison to the second act where the actors hit their stride. It almost seemed as though it were a different atmosphere in the theatre as if the act prior had been a warm up.
The six weeks of preparation that the students of DART 4F56 put into their show truly paid off for their overall success.
For more information on the Dramatic Arts program at Brock, and to find out about upcoming events, please visit https://brocku.ca/humanities/departments-and-centres/dramatic-arts/ or their Twitter @brockuDART. You can also check out the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre box office for collaborative events with the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at http://firstontariopac.ca
-Natalie Moore, Contributor