10 Reasons to See the Madwoman
1. The fancy French title
As one of the stars of the play, Michael Gaudio ’16, reminded me, “It’s pronounced shy-oh.”
2. The set
The students of the Theater Department do most, if not all, of the construction themselves. Stage Manager Sarah Tweed ’16, Master Electrician Austin Schroeter ’16, Master Carpenter Jessica Richmond ’16 and so many others constructed a subtly versatile and very functional creation. So functional, in fact, that only two sets are used for every scene of the play.
3. Audience interaction
Coming to the show is an interactive experience as flowers and balloons are showered on people in the front rows. Good luck leaving your seat during the show; the cast utilize the stairs in the seating rows. (Tip: hit the restrooms before heading in.)
4. Alumni staff
Theatre productions take a village—and sometimes that includes alumni, like Jill Rogati ’07 as the movement coach and Amber Primm ’04 as the scenic designer. It is incredible to see past Gordon grads coming back to their alma mater. Their interest in helping out with current productions demonstrates just how deep the Theatre Department’s roots run.
5. The theater itself
If you’ve never been to the Margaret Jensen Theatre, it really is exhilarating to enter a giant black box—a more modern type of stage, developed by one of the world’s leading designers of theatres, Iain Mackintosh. For those who have only seen shows on a traditional stage, this more intimate performance setting is a revelation. You will truly feel part of the production.
6. The seniors
If for no other reason, go to see Nick Hammes ’16, Michael Gaudio ’16, Jessica Richmond ’16, Austin Schroeter ’16 and Terry Sterling ’16 in one of their last productions as Gordon students. Watching Hammes and Gaudio go back and forth as business associates is very comical, as is Sterling’s fairly brief but still fantastic performance as Gabrielle, one of the Madwoman’s best friends.
7. The props
Bicycles on stage, a search for a boa, and a particularly significant melon. That is all I can say without giving away too much.
8. The message
Without spoiling the plot, I will offer this: The Madwoman of Chaillot is a fantastical story of how one woman’s charm and innocent enjoyment of life work to save Paris from the greed of oil prospectors and big business.
9. The Madwoman herself
Molly Sidell ’17 does an incredible job as the title character, also known as Countess Aurelia. Her wild, rambling stories and honesty bring the production life. Come for the Madwoman’s eccentric outfits and stay to see Sidell play her most deserved role since An Inspector Calls a few years ago. As always, Sidell does not disappoint.
10. Norm Jones said to
Well, he actually said, “Life is a narrow escape into faith.” You could also say that this story is a narrow escape into an imaginative drama. While realism has its place, sometimes it’s good to suspend disbelief and enjoy a play that brings a little magic back into the world.
Tickets are on sale for the final performances of The Madwoman of Chaillot:
Wednesday, April 13: 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 14: 7:30 p.m.
Friday, April 15: 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 16: 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, April 17: 3:00 p.m.