Written by Marianna Foran
In the cozy walls of the Austin Playhouse the ACC Drama Department is rehearsing for the Spring production of Gloria by Branden Jacob Jenkins. While the cast was preparing, cast members Nicholas Davila, Remy Joslin, and Holly Palmer were able to discuss their experiences.
“This is the first show I’ve done with ACC’S theatre department and honestly as soon as I walked into the doors for the initial audition, I’m like this is where I need to be because the people are great. There is just this certain quality that most theatre companies or groups carry and it’s definitely prevalent with these people. So immediately I felt very welcomed and very natural coming in here. It wasn’t difficult getting to know these people because they’re all great people. I think it’s different to work on a show as fast as this because usually I have been given more time to work on shows, but everything is structured really well. We have a game plan at all times, so I’m not really worried about anything.” Davila, a first time ACC student, enthusiastically gushes. Joslin also found herself having a pleasant experience.
“Its given me something to do, which is nice because I just moved here from the Houston area,” says Joslin. “ So I didn’t really know anyone and the theatre department has definitely given me friends. The professional ties are cool as well.” Joslin says as she discusses the theatre department and what kind of an effect it has had on her.
The cast and I then moved onto Gloria and they all gave me a little insight on their characters in the show.
“I play three characters; Ani in the first act, Sasha in the second act first scene, and Callie in the second act second scene. All three of these people come from different general backgrounds but they all have the unifying trait that they are terrible in the way that they are two-faced.” Palmer says.
Gloria’s character, Lorin shows some of the “terrible” traits Palmer references.
“So I play Lorin in Gloria,” says Davila and the way the script puts it is that Lorin is a sad, sad, sad, sad guy. During my first entrance, my character is kind of uptight, he’s been a fact checker at this magazine company for a long time. He just turned thirty-seven so he’s very stressed out because he feels like he hasn’t gotten anywhere in life, the job just isn’t fulfilling to my character. He doesn’t really enjoy it all, so a lot of that comes out on stage with a few uncalled for outbursts. Lorin is a sad guy and it is so much fun.”
Headlining character, Gloria, has a scene that justifies her character’s terrible attitude.
“I play Gloria and Nan,” Joslin says. “Gloria, I kind of relate to a little bit because she is basically a normal person, according to the script. But she ends up in an event that makes her complex in the sense that she is still ‘normal’ but she has become the result of how people mistreated her and the negative energy towards her that has built up over time.”
Following that, Davila then gave some insight on his views on Gloria and how it may affect the audience.
“Gloria covers a topic that is kind of becoming a big issue in society. You just flip on the TV and you see it on the news all the time. So to see that on the stage and how it can just happen so quickly and take your life by storm greatly affecting everything about people’s lives. People who didn’t deserve anything, or did depending on how you view the show’s characters. Gloria captures the drama of situations like that and it puts in into perspective. Like, wow, my life today could be drastically different if one thing happens that is out of my control.”
After the more serious note of our chats, things then lightened up when the cast members told me why they were majoring in theatre. “I am majoring in theatre because I feel like its a very good art form to express the art I like,” says Joslin. “It’s like a humanistic type of approach to art, and also being expressive and all that jazz,” Joslin says.
Whereas Palmer says, “I was originally going to be a music major, because I was a singer. I am a singer, but then I got into theatre in my junior year of high school and it was like a magical process. It’s not even just acting I like, its just the whole process I like. I even told out stage manager Lindsey that if I didn’t get cast I would put my name in to be the assistant stage manager or something. I can’t imagine doing anything long term that isn’t theatre.”
“Theatre is the only thing I really feel passionate about,” Davila says thoughtfully. “When I’m not doing it I feel like I’m not fulfilled as a human so being here is good for me.”
“The ACC Drama Department’s production of Gloria will be at the Austin Playhouse February 22-March 4, 2018.”