‘Belles’ at JC next weekendNext weekend the Jamestown College theater department takes to the stage to present a play that will be performed in a manner that differs from normal productions. “Belles,” by Mark Dunn is a play that takes place in two acts — and 45 phone calls.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Next weekend the Jamestown College theater department takes to the stage to present a play that will be performed in a manner that differs from normal productions.
“Belles,” by Mark Dunn is a play that takes place in two acts — and 45 phone calls.
Six sisters, originally from Memphis, Tenn., reconnect over the phone.
The whole time none of them has a traditional conversation with each other on the stage. Rather they act as though they’re having a normal telephone conversation with each other.
“For each one of the actresses, you get a small area to act in and that’s it,” said Mike McIntrye, director of “Belles,” and the JC theater department. “You get a 6 (foot) by 8 (foot) square and you can’t leave it.”
For Jamestown College freshman Bri VinZat, Soldotna, Alaska, that fact presents some obstacles.
“I think it was a little intimidating and a little challenging knowing we would never come face to face with any of the other actresses.”
VanZat plays Peggy, the eldest of the six sisters. She is the one reconnecting with her siblings over the phone concerning medical issues with their mother.
This allows the characters to find their needs and fulfillment in the other characters without ever physically meeting.
Even though anything dealing with the medical issues of family members has the potential for sadness, VanZat assures that not is the case in this production.
“In the opinion of pretty much everyone but me, my mom is not injured or sick or hurt,” she said.
The concerns VanZat has about her mother are what leads to some of the humor of the play.
“For some reason in this family, they all have the assumption that mother had another illness so that means they’re going to have to pump her stomach,” McIntrye said.
While the mother is never seen, by the end of the show the audience will have a feel for what type of person she is through the sisters’ phone conversations, he said.
The dialogue may paint a picture of the matriarch of the family, but the sisters have to do that for themselves. For this the actors use body language and vocal cues.
“The characters have to have something the audience members can relate to — enduring or any quirky habits everyone can relate to,” VanZat said.
“Belles” is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 2-4, in the DeNault Auditorium in the Reiland Fine Arts Center on the campus on Jamestown College.
Tickets are $7 and may be reserved through the box office at 252-3467, ext. 2435, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com