Shining a Spotlight on Haverford’s Theatre Scene

2016 marks the beginning of a new theatre group on campus.

Leah Jarvik ‘19 and Brian Guggenheimer ‘16 recently formed Spotlight Theatre Company, a group that will focus primarily on dramatic plays at Haverford. The group was created with the intention of providing students the opportunity to act in and produce non-musical (‘straight’) plays that are not written by students. Prior to Spotlight, this opportunity was only available to those enrolled in acting classes.

The idea for Spotlight, Jarvik claims, grew out of an event sponsored by the Hurford Center during which Haverford alumnus and acclaimed playwright Ken Ludwig ‘72 returned to campus to discuss theater opportunities with students.

Ludwig lamented the lack of drama opportunities currently offered at Haverford, noting that there were many more drama-oriented theatre groups when he was a student.

As a freshman interested in theatre, Jarvik was also initially disappointed with the lack of groups allowing students to direct non-musical plays.

“Currently, we have musical theatre with Greasepaint and student-written one-acts with Bi-co original works,” said Jarvik. “[We also have] Main Stage at Bryn Mawr, which is very difficult for Haverford students to get involved with and [is] a large time commitment. This left a gaping hole where normal, ‘straight’ plays should be.”

Guggenheimer (Jarvik’s HCO) offered to help her create a theater group solely focused on producing ‘straight’ plays, and the two quickly planned a production schedule for the semester. This began with an informational meeting (held on the 29th of January), and will be followed by director applications, auditions, and rehearsals, all culminating in a performance during the second week of April.

Although it was founded only a few weeks ago, Jarvik and Guggenheimer hope Spotlight will become a well-known presence on campus.

Spotlight plans to produce one show this semester, but the founders are considering more than one production, “possibly a one-act in the middle of the semester, followed by a larger production at the end.”

Spotlight is currently searching for directors for its first production, stressing that it desires applicants who are excited about the shows they suggest.

“I think it’s really important that a director be interested and passionate about a show,” said Jarvik.‘‘We don’t want to be the ones to pick the show and to pitch it. It’s awesome to produce something your classmates have written, but I want [to provide] the opportunity for people to go out and find plays they are really passionate about and produce them.”

Jarvik proposed the name ‘Spotlight’ during a meeting with Guggenheimer and former Greasepaint director Karina Wiener ‘15, explaining that it “can give opportunities to students who otherwise wouldn’t have them.”

It seems that through their new theatre group, Jarvik and Guggenheimer are about to shine their own spotlight on Haverford’s theater scene.

Apply to direct for Spotlight by Wednesday February 10th. Auditions will be held on the weekend of February 19th. For more information visit https://spotlighttheatrecompany.wordpress.com/

 

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