Quentin Pardon
JRNM 151

Lorain County Community College’s Theatre Program is hosting a play called The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail at 8 p.m. from Nov. 15-17 at Stocker Center.

 The play has various flashbacks showing the series of events that led to Henry’s arrest. The crew and cast members are excited to be able to present this show to the school.

  “Content is really thought provoking,” said stage manager Aoelina Edwards. “It’s a time-piece. Those are one of the most interesting type of plays.” Edwards began her interest in theater when she was in the third grade. She did local plays where she grew up at in Strongsville through high school. In Fall 2017, she auditioned and got casted as the lead in the play Dead Man’s Phone. This semester she was asked to stage manage her first play. “I’m very eager to see how everything is going to pan out. This is my first time behind the scenes but I really had the right people helping me.”

Directors of the theatre

One of few people that gave her help was Jeremy Benjamin, director of the Theater Program. He has been doing theatre professionally for 32 years in which 29 of those years have been here. “The thing I’m most proudest of is being at LCCC for 29 years. Its great watching your students grow up and then give back.” said Benjamin. When asked about what he’s excited for in the play he said, “Things I’m excited for the play is we get to work with director Sarah May. We got a really strong cast so I think we got a really strong production.” 

May is an associate but most importantly a friend of Jeremy. “He called me and asked if I was interested in directing the play. I’m not gonna turn down an opportunity to work with my friend,” said May. She has been doing theatre ever since she was a teenager. Starting out she was only wanted to be an actress. The more she did in the field of theatre, the more she realized that she wanted to be a director. “It’s sorta like an organized sport. We’re one big family and we’re getting ready for opening night.”

Corey East has been cast to play the main role of Henry Thoreau. East has been doing theater since his freshman year in high school but took a four-year break after high school. “This is actually the biggest role I’ve taken on. I did a lot of research on him and tried to learn how to be him as close as I can. Henry is a rebel with a cause. He reminds me of a little bit of Martin Luther King and Gandhi sorta,” East said. When asked on the hardships of the plays so far, his only problem is line memorization. 

“It’s a great show but it is challenging. Henry talks so much. That’s the most difficult about this play to me.” His castmates are optimistic about him as each other as they keep the spirits up high during rehearsal.

Optimist

One of the most optimistic members in this cast has to be Colin McCauley. He started performing in high school and continued his passion through college. 

Benjamin called out to him due to open spots and that’s how he got into this play. The only thing he showed concern about the play is the singing. “A few church scenes where

 I have to sing and I’m not a very talented singer but my cast members helped me with it.”  His character, Deacon Ball, is an intriguing person. “No fun allowed. Stick in the mud. Kinda a jerk.” 

 Demaris Pierce is nothing of the sorts like Deacon. Pierce has been involved in theatre since she was 5. She then forth performed in plays like Annie, Grease, Big fish and many more growing up. Took two-three years off 

of theater after high school until she heard about auditions and decided to go for it. “I missed being a part of the cast and the crew. I missed being a part of theater.” Pierce will be acting as townsfolk, a Mexican soldier and a protester.

Others  in the theatre

 With all these characters, who will dress them and make them look appropriate for the show? Meet April Rock. Been in theater since 7 years old. Her grandfather would build the setting for high school plays and her grandmother would direct the plays. 

The high school would choose her to play the little kid if the play asked for a kid present in the script. In college she took theater classes as electives and realized this is what she wants to do for a living. She eventually met with Benjamin around a decade ago now, They worked with each other at the Oberlin Summer theater festival and made a good connection. “Networking and Getting out there is really important in this field.” said Rock. She earned herself a master of fine arts degree in costume design at Kent State University and is ecstatic for the premiere. 

Tickets can be purchased at the Stocker Arts Center box office for $9 for adults and $8 students. For more information, please visit

 www.stockerartscenter.com