Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
Directed by Ginny Anderson
Costumes by Thomas John Bernard
Scenery by Tim Dugan
Lights by Thomas Schneider
Sound by Eric Toussaint
The play has offered rich opportunities for teaching and discussions. The students have a “Marisol” Facebook page, where others can make comments about stories in the headlines and social issues, and before each rehearsal, actors participate in a warm-up where they suggest a related topic to discuss. “These are things the world needs to be awakened to,” Anderson said.
"Unfortunately, the angel cannot both battle God and protect Marisol. She appears in Marisol’s bedroom to deliver a wake-up call: “You have to fight. You can’t just endure anymore. You can’t trust luck. And prayer. And mercy. And other people. So get yourself some power, Marisol.” The angel’s directive to Marisol is intended for the audience as well, to jar them from the complacent lull of a cultural faith that keeps people quiet and well behaved. Rivera isn’t dealing with such specifics as one kind of religion or God, so much as a broader faith in government and capitalism.
“It’s precisely the kind of theater I want to do,” said Anderson. “And I feel very fortunate to have people willing to take risks on this particular show.”
... Anderson has an enduring interest in social theater. Her doctoral thesis concerned AIDS and theater. And she’s asking her students to take an active interest in the social issues discussed in the play."
Cast and crew "have been diving deep into research on current topics such as environmental, political and financial issues. They also looked into New York City itself, apocalyptic literature and concepts as well as a variety of other cultures and ideals to adequately prepare for their roles. ... The originality will be manifested in the cast’s interpretation of the characters as they develop their roles with director Virginia Anderson. Anderson joined the department faculty in fall of 2009, and “Marisol” will be her premiere production at Cal Poly. “Anderson is very innovative,” De La Rosa said. “She has been really working hard with the cast to get them to know their characters and discover their own interpretation.”
Photos by Tim Dugan