Behind the Scenes: Rough Magic

The culmination of hard work from the beginning of the school year to now all comes together for the Clements Theatre Troupe in their newest production, Rough Magic. 

Bringing together famous characters from the history of theatre –The Tempest by Shakespeare, Joan of Arc, and even Clement’s old production Heathers, Rough Magic tells the story of what happens when these characters come to life. 

Led by a main cast featuring Ava Hosseini as Melanie, Paige Yepsen as Chet, Walker Kaul as Caliban, and Aadarsh Rebba as Prospero, these actors and actresses’ dynamics create an exciting energy on stage, perfectly executing both the humorous and emotional parts of this play. These actors excel at bringing the audience through Melanie’s journey with her. Their perseverance in how they rehearsed for this show definitely shows. And while it doesn’t show, much of the cast and director Gavin Mundy were worried about getting the lines down until a day before opening night. When it came to opening night however, Clements Theatre had nothing to worry about. 

The supporting cast of this production features Rylan Slater as Tisiphone, Luke Hartman as Megaera, Emily Cox as Alecto, Valeria Perez as Linda, Kavni Shah as Sasia, Maggie Nelson as Ariel, Eleeka Nia as Miranda, Kaitlyn Milikin as Ophelia/Dr. Ridgeon, Andrea Vargas as Joan of Arc, and Laura Villarreal as Tracy. The supporting cast of this show works together wonderfully with the main cast to create great character moments throughout the show. Also of special interest was the incredible drag performance of Rylan Slater, Luke Hartman, and Emily Cox. Throughout the play, the supporting cast 

As much as the cast brings to this show, the set design was an equally important piece of the play as well. Working on the set were Valerie Cupich, Artem Kochkin, Elee

ka Nia, Aadarsh Rebba, and Paige Yepsen. Each of the fake books on the wall was individually painted with varied colors and titles, requiring an immense amount of physical work that Clements Theatre put together in a relatively short amount of time. In addition to this, the creativity and versatility of the set design was unmatched. Three large stacked books on the left side of the stage served as stairs, a balcony, a vantage point, and more. The versatility of the set and the use of additional pieces bro

ught on and taken off by crew members transformed the setting and brought the audience into the scene depicted. Never once did it feel like characters were out of place or time. 

Working on the props, costumes, and hair/makeup for this show included Emily Cox, Maya Lieberson, Sofie Marino, Valeria Perez, Cristian Sandoval, Laura Villarreal, and Elene Yepsen. The costumes and hair/makeup for this show were incredibly impressive. Costumes featured, in full drag with accompanying costumes, the fairies, Tisiphone, Megaera, and Alecto. In addition to this, Prospero’s two daughters, Ariel and Sasia, were in fairy costumes, complete with a haunting, terrifying, blue and red makeup look based on their powers of invisibility and fire. The rest of the cast were also fitted in costumes that perfectly encompassed their character, notably including Caliban’s several costume changes, Chet’s lifeguard out

fit, and Prospero’s powerful wizard robe.

This show wouldn’t have been nearly as close to remarkable as it was without the work of the lights and sound crew: Muhammad Asim, Siyu Cao, Danielle Ejiogu, Alexa Fusco, Cameron Htut, Emma Kuo, Dean Marino, Kaitlyn Milikin. The use of the lights and sound in this show make the magical elements much more powerful and believable and add to the apocalyptic feel at the end of the show. They also follow and influence the emotions of the audience throughout the show. 

Finally, the managerial and productional positions of the show make the entire production possible. This includes Megan Biles and Jaycie Voller as House & Pub, Savannah Farmer as Stage Manager, Akshata Thupili as Dramaturg, Andrea Vargas as Assistant Director, and Ayca Zengindemir as Production Manager. Their contribution helped organize all of the moving parts of the production. Without them, this production wouldn’t have been possible at all. 

Overall this show served as a shining example of the talent and dedication of the Clements Theatre Troupe.

Eira Mann