Forte: A Senior Thesis Production

It's not all serious in the theatre department.
It’s not all serious in the theatre department.

The cornerstone of most majors is your senior thesis and theater is no different. Your senior thesis is the culmination of all the work you’ve put in the last four years. It’s almost completely personalized and, at least for theater majors, is a major source of pride.

This year is no different as two of our lovely theater majors teamed up with an English major to bring a show to life from start to finish. Mary Beringer, an English major, wrote the play “Forte” specifically for this production.

The process and the final work has been her senior thesis, and the play is absolutely spectacularly written. Kayla Snabl, a theatre major, has background in both stage combat as well as acting, and has been doing both for her thesis. She plays the leading lady, Lady Cynthia, and co-directed the show and coordinated all the fights.

Kim Reeves, another theatre major, has extensive experience as a stage manager and serves as the other co-director; she also acted as our technical director for the show.

The poster for the show Forte featuring the cast.
The poster for the show Forte featuring the cast.

Shawn Franklin, my fraternity brother and fellow actor, and I were graciously asked to help out with this production earlier last year. We were extremely excited about it all summer and early semester, and were thrilled to finally get to put the show on stage.

Since Kayla is looking at pursuing stage combat as a profession, the play obviously had to be very heavy in fights, which naturally meant that Mary set the play centuries ago, a time when slavery, arranged marriages, and, of course, swordplay were widely accepted.

The play tells the story of Lady Cynthia (Kayla) and her quest to find independence in a society that does not allow women that right.

Her fiance, Lord Edward (myself), continually tries to keep her submissive and meek while Sir Arthur (Shawn) trains with her on a regular basis.

She must battle not only societies views on women’s roles and rights, but also the men in her life and their feelings towards her. I’ll stop there with the plot as I don’t want to give too much away.

My wonderfully dramatic headshot for the show.
My wonderfully dramatic headshot for the show.

Needless to say, it’s terribly exciting with a range of emotions, swordplay, romance and a few good punches all packed into 45 minutes.

We’re having two weekends of performance, an oddity in the theater. Our opening night is this Friday at 7:30 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m.

It’s family friendly and not too expensive (only $5 for adults and $2 for students/children). It runs until Sunday and then gets a reboot after Thanksgiving break from Dec. 4-6.

You definitely won’t want to miss it. We’d love to have a packed house to perform for so be sure to mark your calendars. Now to start thinking about my senior thesis.

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