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An original play about a witty literary pioneer will soon arrive that will leave audiences in need for an encore. 

It takes a village to lead a play and this team has grasped that concept. After winning the 2015 Inkslinger playwriting competition with an original script written by Colin Crowley, director Jeffery Polito made a Vonnie Borden worthy adaption. This competition is created by the Southeastern theatre, where winners receive a production in the Vonnie Borden Theatre.

According to Polito, he has taught Introduction to Theatre at the University for the last 3/4 years and has previously taught Introduction to Public Speaking at Southeastern since 2000. After hearing about an opportunity for directing from Steven Schepker, Polito began working on the adaptation.

 “I wanted to stay true to the intentions of the play writer and do their work justice,” said Polito. “Colin does a great job. If the play writer is already good, then my focus as a director is to stay true to his words and take it from the page to the stage.”

According to Polito, “Encore, Encore” tells the story of Dorothy Parker, an author, writer for publications such as “Vanity Fair” and drama critic. The play will tell the story of her life in the early 1900s until her death in 1967 in a narrative storyteller form. This will include what Polito calls, “poignant moments” between Parker and her husband Eddie, a WWI veteran that deals with what would be considered modern day Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) upon his return home. 

According to Polito, Crowley chose the title of “Encore, Encore,” because of Parker’s fame and success that didn’t include a stage.

“Even though she’s not an actor, she’s always on stage,” said Polito. “Everybody at some point feels their on stage and people are watching them. For her, being someone who feels that she’s always being watched, a lot of people want encores of her work.”

According to Polito, this is for the most part a student based production. Polito describes himself as a “hands on director” that guides the students, but lets them ultimately make their own creations.

“A lot of directors think out everything in advance,” said Polito. “I get in there and I rely on the creativity of my actors and production team.”

The cast will consist of: Angela Griffitt, Taylor Sinclair, William Hyde, Neal Eli, Matthew Dale Carona, Bennett Cockerham, Shelly Sneed and Duncan Martin. The production team will consist of: Steven Schepker (scenic design), Mignon Charvet (costume design), Victoria Parsons (makeup design), Courtney Daussat (lighting design), Kelsey Hymel (sound design  and assistant stage manager), Emily Nodine (props mistress), Tara Bennett (media) and Madison Paulus (stage manager). 

According to Paulus, she hopes the audience will enter with an open mind and imagination.

“Dorothy Parker is reminiscing on her life so everything is a memory,” said Paulus. “Actors play multiple roles and even the set interchanges to be multiple places.” Junior general studies major with a concentration in theatre and minor in Spanish, Griffitt, who plays the lead role of Dorothy, describes the emotional bond she felt after reading the script and her expectations for the show.

 “When I take my final bow, I want the audience to feel like they’ve just stepped off of a fast paced, emotional, artistic roller coaster ride because that’s exactly what Dorothy went through,” said Griffitt. 

“Encore, Encore” will begin on Tuesday, Mar. 8 and will have its final curtain call on Friday, Mar. 11. Doors will open at 7:00 p.m. and the show will officially start at 7:30 p.m. This show is intended for mature audiences. Call the Vonnie Borden Theatre box office for ticket information at 985-549-2115.

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