Y students perform Card’s stories

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    By SARALEE HUNTSMAN

    Perhaps students are familiar with the literary works of Orson Scott Card, but rarely have they seen them performed on the stage.

    “Quietus and Other Stories” opened Wednesday evening in the Pardoe Drama Theater. Scott Bronson, the director and featured performer of the evening, adapted one of Card’s stories into a one-act play. The evening also consisted of a readers’ theater and dramatic reading.

    “Scott’s stories are about people and the way they feel, and I really like that,” Bronson said.

    The first story of the evening was presented in the form of a readers’ theater. The story, “Middle Woman” was about a young Chinese girl who encounters a dragon during her travels. After this encounter the girl’s life is completely changed.

    Marvin Payne, who has appeared in numerous LDS film projects, was the voice of the dragon. The part of the Chinese girl was read by Jennifer Erekson, who has appeared on CBS’s “Touched by an Angel.”

    The dramatic reading helped the audience use their imagination for the staging. The readers’ voices were animated, making the story come to life.

    “I was totally into the story. It was presented in a casual way and it allowed the audience to visualize the characters,” said audience member Marc Estrada, a junior from Thousand Oaks, Calif., majoring in dance.

    The readers theater was followed by the one-act play of “Quietus.” The play was about a man who comes home from work one day to find a coffin in his study and no children around. Weren’t there supposed to be children?

    “Quietus” had the audience guessing and double guessing if there were supposed to be children in the house. At times in the play, children’s voices could be heard, but the wife insisted there were no children and they could never have children.

    Scott Bronson assumed the role of the husband and did a marvelous job portraying a man who desperately wants kids and firmly believes he has a son and daughter.

    “I had to try to figure out the logic of what was going on in the story,” Bronson said. “Even though it may not be apparent to the audience immediately, there is a line of reality that goes through the story.”

    The play had a surprise ending leaving the audience asking themselves if the children were real or imagined.

    Card, who was in attendance Wednesday, said he was very proud of the entire ensemble and the talent of the cast.

    “I think Scott’s performance was wonderful,” Card said. “I have never seen him act and I thought he was powerful and moving.”

    Bronson began work on the adaptation a year and a half ago, but it was set aside for a long time. Bronson said the adaptation has gone through many revisions; the latest draft was just completed a week and a half ago.

    “The staging was very simple, but that’s the way I like it,” Card said. “That’s the way I do mine — I try to use minimal sets and minimal realism.”

    “If you have any opportunity to see, feel, touch, hear, taste or smell a Scott Card story, you should take the advantage of that opportunity,” Bronson said.

    “Quietus and Other Stories” will run through Saturday in the Pardoe Drama Theater. Ticket prices are $7 for students, $8 for senior citizens and alumni and $9 for general public. Contact the HFAC ticket office at 378-4322 for tickets and more information.

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