The Collective Face Theater Ensemble presented a rendition of the 1945 Broadway play “Dark of the Moon” in the Kennedy Fine Arts building during the month of September.
The production follows the story of a witch boy John and his quest to be human to engage in a forbidden love with Barbara Allen. This ill-fated love is based in the rocky tops of Appalachia during the 1940s.
Airrey Bonner, 21, is a senior visual and performing arts major at Savannah State University who is one of the actors in the production. She plays two characters, the flirtatious Hattie Heffner, and another town woman Greenie Gorman.
¨My characters are both your typical older women from the mountains in the mid-1900s. Greenie Gorman is a married woman and is picked on by the townspeople because of who she has married. While Hattie on the other hand is a very flirtatious woman. She even flirts with the pastor at one point,” said Bonner.
Bonner said she has worked in the Collective Face Ensemble, and Director David Poole, previously. ¨I started working with them by preparing costumes for their production of ‘The Great Gatsby’. Ever since my sophomore year working with them and learning more about their organization, I knew I wanted to do more with them specifically in acting,” she said.
Poole is a professor at Savannah State University. ¨Dark of the Moon” was directed and designed by Poole and is produced in cooperation with Players By The Sea.
“Over the summer, Prof. Poole contacted me and said he wanted for me to audition along with Collective Face. I was shocked and honored. I was excited, but it didn't really hit me until it was time to audition. Seriously, it was as if I was rubbing shoulders with celebrities!”
Bonner said she thought the show had its own appeal, as well. ¨’Dark of the Moon’, in my own words, I would say the production is very out-of-the-box. It has a very demonic or unorthodox aura to it. However, it´s very adventurous. In this creepy, dark play, there´s so many different and bright personalities in this show. If one could say there’s a moral behind the story, it would be about truthfulness. If you’re not truthful then you´ll suffer the consequences, and I think each side suffered from that.¨
Olivia Bevel, a 24-year-old graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, played a witch in the production.
¨My character, the bear witch, has no speaking role. It’s a more physical role, so basically the audience needs to know my emotions through my actions on stage. My character’s main goal is to bring John back to [the witches]. We are his family, and to see him leave his family of ghouls and surrender his livelihood to a human, to want to be a human instead of a witch upsets us. We don’t like to see him leave us for Barbara, his human wife, and we become protective of John.¨
Playing a witch in this play requires some technique. ¨The hardest part of my role was the physicality. There is a multitude of dancing, crouching and crawling that my character does in the play. Some nights I go home very tired as if I've just came back from a workout session... If you get the chance to come and see the show, look at each of the actors’ performances. They are the reasons why the play becomes such a work of art. In certain scenes, you can really catch the emotions from characters´ faces, and for me, some of the scenes nearly bring me to tears.”
¨Dark of the Moon” is directed and designed by Professor David I. L. Poole and is produced in cooperation with Players By The Sea. Tickets for SSU students, faculty, and staff are $5 with ID. Viewings for the productions will be held for the weekends starting Sept. 9-29. All are encouraged to come and enjoy the chilling and thrilling adventures in "Dark of the Moon".
Editor’s Note: Editor-in-Chief Danielle Birzer played a role in the production of “Dark of the Moon” as a musician. She did not participate in the writing or editing of this story.