Senior show Coming Apart opens tonight

12 Dec

“I want a divorce.”

This is how Jourdan Turntine’s upcoming senior theatre project, the romantic comedy Coming Apart, begins.

“It’s a play about a romance novelist and humor columnist who are married,” Turntine said. “It’s a lot of fun. I really wanted a play that would brighten up the main stage after these tragedies, and this was perfect.”

Turntine plays Fran, the lead, opposite Chris Lakin, senior, who plays Colin. Also appearing are Aaron Gotzon, sophomore, and Rachel DeVilbiss, senior, as Bert and Sylvia, respectively.

“They’re all great,” Turntine said. “And Chris is absolutely hilarious.”

“I got into theatre at Jewell to spend more time with my girlfriend,” Lakin said. “Then last spring, Jourdan asked me to audition for her show. I was flattered, because I don’t really think I’m a good actor, but I was even more surprised when I was cast as a lead!”

Turntine started looking for her senior theatre play last fall. “Coming Apart was actually the first one I read,” she said. “I read a bunch, but this one was pretty much perfect.”

Senior theatre projects require the student to find the script, cast actors, design costumes, setting, lights and sound. Turntine was given a budget of $300 to produce Coming Apart. “My biggest expense has been paint,” Turntine said. “The costumes are from the actors’ wardrobes, and a lot of the other stuff was already around here.”

The actors from the production have helped with the technical side, which is different from traditional shows.

“We all do the tech work,” Lakin said. “On main stage shows, actors don’t really have to worry about stuff like that.”

“I’ve learned a lot during this production. For one, I’ve learned how to accept help. That it’s even alright to ask for it! For example, I asked Damen [Webster, senior], my stage manager, to run to Wal-Mart for me. He’s been wonderful about that,” said Turntine. “Oh yeah, and I’ve learned a lot about theatre, too.”

Another difference between this show and regular production is the small cast. “The smaller cast is better because we can all encourage each other and really get to know each other,” Gotzon said.

Turntine will not be done with big projects after this, however. Next semester the theatre education and education double major will be student teaching before she graduates in July. Lakin is also moving on to big things; he and his sister are starting a theatre production company called Show Me ARTS. Because of this start-up, Coming Apart will be his last production at William Jewell.

“I’ve found a way to bridge my major and my love of theatre,” Lakin said. “It’s in the extreme start-up stage right now, but we have a lot of ideas.”

One of Turntine’s most memorable themes of the play is the book her character is writing. While going through the process of divorcing, the romance columnist (Turntine) starts writing a book about surviving marriage. There are flashbacks throughout the play to earlier scenes between the couple, though Turntine promises the audience won’t be confused.

“Aaron or Rachel will put signs on the stage with the date of the scene,” Turntine said. “There’s a lot of coincidences in this play,” Turntine said. “For one, one of the dates in the play is also my birthday, June 15, and one of the characters is from Kansas City.”

Another major date in the show is Dec. 12, which happens to be when the play opens. Coming Apart opens at 7 tonight and tomorrow night. Tickets are $5 each. Group tickets (five or more) are $4 each.

Published in The Hilltop Monitor, 12 December 2008

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