PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY
9/15/2014

Multicultural cast defines love

 By Rosy Banks
 Staff Writer

Love.

It can break hearts or make spirits soar. 

This Valentine’s Day, the Multicultural Theater Project will take a new, fresh perspective into the complex issues of today’s romances in the play “Love Is ...”  at 7 p.m. in Raitt Recital Hall. 

“Love Is ...” explores several dating dilemmas ever-pressing in our world today and analyzes society’s pitfalls through the relationships of several couples.

Taking place in lovely “Candie’s Cafe,” characters portray problems partners have when adjusting their relationships to society’s so-called “norms.” One scene depicts two friends talking over the relationship one of them is in.  The discussion escalates into a heated debate and then explodes as one friend makes some biased remarks. 

“We want to show how loving unconditionally affects our lives at every level,” said Joi Carr, the Multicultural Project’s director. “Hopefully it impacts the community by creating dialogue about different issues such as race, class and gender. We want to add to the platform so those in the Pepperdine community can become more culturally aware.”

Carr said the play will raise important social questions, but will also have aspects that are lighthearted and humorous.

“It’s a good date play,” Carr said. “Perfect for Valentine’s Day.”

“Love Is ...” will be the Multicultural Project’s fifth production since its inception in  spring 2000.  With 21 students, “Love Is ...” has the largest and most varied cast yet to grace the stage, with people of all acting levels.

“The sheer multitude and diversity that exists within the play is amazing,” Carr said. “I’ve been impressed by their willingness to work long hours in order to create something new.” 

Students in the play have been extremely driven, rehearsing three hours on weekdays and nine hours on Saturdays. Working alongside other cultures and races, cast members have improved not only in their acting, but also interpersonally.

“I was generally a very shy person but through this have been able to spread my wings and fly,” freshman cast member Alex English said. “For me, it was a great opportunity to branch out and do something different.”

Other cast members said the Multicultural Project allows them to have a voice. Many joined that normally could not or would not have been a part of any other Pepperdine drama production.

Carr created the original show concept but through working with cast members in a writing workshop, everyone had a part in chiseling out the final script.

“Ideas are brought forth that are usually not talked about,” junior Marcus Cooke said.

For some, it will be their last chance to impact audiences.

“This is my last one, my fifth performance,” said senior LeRonda Smith, who has been involved in the Project since its beginning. “It is very special to me and has been a truly inspiring experience.  I am going to miss it.”

For a taste of what love is ... bring your sweetie or yourself to Raitt Recital Hall Feb. 14.

Tickets are $6 and are available in Smothers box office.

Caption

Photo courtesy Joi Carr

ACTING IN LOVE: The cast of “Love is ...” the Multicultural Theater Project’s spring production directed by visiting professor Joi Carr.

Caption 2:

Photos by Leiola Pasciuta

TOP: Marcus Cooke, Eboni Curry, Alex English and Alexis Terry rehearse a scene for the Multicultural Theater Project’s Valentine’s Day production

analyzing love in modern day dating dilemmas.

LEFT: Carmen Aybar watches as Rachel Orrico and Russell Kirby play a couple evaluating their relationship at Candie’s Cafe, while Patrice Patrick, Katrina Scott and Terry discuss their character’s romantic intrigues in the background.

Sidebar

 

The love line

Romance is alive and well in movies, contemporary music, literature, art and theater. What brings you to tears or sends your heart soring?

Whether you will be spending time with your better half on Feb. 14 or just daydreaming about that special someone in your humanities class, The Graphic wants to know what movie or song will best put you into the mood for love.

In honor of Valentine’s Day next week, The Graphic is taking an informal poll on what Art & Entertainment venues bring out the romantic sentiments of Pepperdine students.

Please answer the following questions and e-mail your responses to A&E Editor Christina Littlefield at cllittle@pepperdine.edu by Sunday. The answers will be shared next week.

All of the respondents will be entered to win a free “Shrek” DVD, courtesy Columbia Pictures.

• In your opinion, what quote from a romantic movie or love song  best describes love?

• What local venue would set the scene for the perfect date?

• What classic romantic movie is your favorite?

• What is your favorite scene in that romantic move?

• What is your favorite love song? • What is your favorite “date” movie?

• What fictional couple (in a book, play or movie) is your favorite romantic duo?

• What two Hollywood stars make the best couple?

• What Hollywood star could you best see yourself with?

• What are you doing Feb. 14?