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Student-made play premieres in New Works Project

By Michal Szczepaniak

Sophia Urban is the director for "Close." The play was written as part of the Theatre Studies New Works Project at the Krannert Center. Urban says this is a devised piece, meaning the actors worked directly with the playwright to write the script over a five week period. Jimmy Cone plays the host in the show. He says working with the playwright to create his character from scratch was a very rewarding experience.

Cone says, "I think, having the ability to like, have our voice as an input into the script, and like, build the characters based off our personalities, as opposed to like, just having a character handed to you, it like adds so much personal investment that like adds so much like beauty to the show."

Close had its first and only performance last night. There are two more student-made plays performing tonight and tomorrow as part of the same New Works Project. Urban says this experience has taught them that rehearsals don't always have to be so serious.

"It can be really easy sometimes to feel very boxed in and it was really, the show itself is like a variety show style and there's improv in it, which I actually didn't have a lot of experience and working on. And I think just being able to bring joy into a rehearsal room and a process."

Urban says they look forward to directing more with Illinois Theatre in their last year.

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