By Nick Lisac
One of the best parts of summer at WOU is the annual summer production by the Theatre and Dance Department, this year’s production was Rumors, directed by David Janoviak.
Rumors is a Neil Simon farce in which my character, Ken, stumbles into a dinner-party-turned-suicide-scandal. As the lawyer of Charlie the unconscious host with an itchy trigger finger, I feel it is my obligation to protect him until the true story is revealed. The true story, however, is harder to discover than any of the characters would have thought. This, of course, is only the perspective of Ken. To look at the events through, another character's lens, like Lenny’s, the contents of Charley’s financial portfolio become the most important factor in deciding what measures to take. With a cast of 10 very different characters with 10 very different motives, conflict rises quickly in the heated and precarious situation. This conflict raises the stakes and keeps the ball in the air for the entire show - creating an incredibly hilarious, though slightly panic stricken, chain of events.
Working on the show was an incredible honor. The chance to act alongside prominent WOU actors such as Colton Ruscheinsky and Samuel Benedict, whom I had seen before in many WOU performances, as well as the ability to learn from and with theater neophytes like Lindsey Weeden was a unique combination for which I am grateful. Having only been a small part of a college production before, working hands on in creating the show – in both acting as well as building the impressive two-story set – was initially intimidating, but the people collaborating to make Rumors happen quickly helped to subside any apprehension. Every single crew member (all of them absolutely amazing at what they do) made my experience truly and wholly enjoyable.
The greatest part of the entire experience, however, is the bond manifested between every person working on Rumors, from the director and stage managers to the lightboard operator to the actors. WOU has given me an experience unattainable outside of the college setting. The level of professionalism combined with the safe environment in which to learn is nothing but a blessing and opportunity from which I hope will constantly refine who I am as a person and an actor.
(Photo above) Nick, at far right, not only spends his out-of-class time working on theatre productions, he is a student worker for accounting in University Advancement.