by Christina Cerutti

What has mystery, death, and dubstep?  If you guessed Mount’s fall production of The Mystery Plays, then you are correct! The play is two separate narratives that tie together with two distinct messages. The first message shows the underlying sin in all of us while the second is about learning to forgive and let go of the past. Does it peak your interest yet? I was lucky enough to have a chat with the director of the play, Professor James Phillips. This gave me a better perspective of what I will be witnessing this upcoming week.

Q: Why should people come see The Mystery Plays?

A: This is a play that talks about some of our timeless, universal concerns as humans. It asks big questions about sin, salvation, forgiveness and redemption. It challenges us to examine our journey through the universe and our relationships with our fellow travelers.  Stylistically the audience will see a high energy, comic book inspired production. The show features dubstep music and dance, wide ranging projections from the photography of Dakin Roy, and an immersive soundscape supporting emotional charged and physically detailed performances by the cast.

Q: Do you feel each actor brings what they need to bring to the scene?

A: The student actors at the Mount work extremely hard to bring the production to life. We rehearse for two months. In rehearsal I challenge the student actors to create unique, memorable characters. I treat them like artists, giving them the freedom to create, but also demanding they show the discipline and dedication needed to create. For all of them, this is a co-curricular experience that carries no academic credit. Their work is superb and I’d put it up against any college theatre program in the Hudson Valley. I couldn’t be more proud of their work.

Q: How has the process of directing this play helped you grow as a theatre director?

A: Each production is a unique experience. The research at the beginning of the process opens doors into unexplored territory. For this production, I’ve gotten to know a lot more about comic books than I ever did before. After the research, the collaboration begins, and I’ve been lucky enough this show to work with Dakin Roy for projections. Getting to see the show through the eyes of another artist opens up my vision for the show. My initial ideas about the projections have evolved because of the collaboration with Dakin. I always hope to create a unique artistic experience with each production. This group of young artists will only come together once, and part of the excitement for me is seeing the group develop a piece that shows sides of all the individuals involved. That can be challenging, but a lot of the learning experience.

Freshman Rebecca Gordils, who landed a role in the play, shared her thoughts on the play. Gordils plays two roles and she is both “excited and nervous” to perform.

Seats are limited so get them before your gone! Trust me when I say you don’t want to miss this play!