Play features Western professors

Catherine Damron

Western theatre students had a chance to see their teachers apply what they taught all semester.

Public Theatre of Kentucky’s production of the Broadway play “Art” features three members of Western’s theatre and dance department -department head Scott Stroot, theatre professor David Young, and former department head Bill Leonard.

Bowling Green senior Will Miller, a theatre student, said he enjoyed getting to see his teachers.

“The production quality was top-notch, and it’s good for students to see their professors in action,” Miller said. “They prove the methods they teach in the classroom; you never really see their true humor until they’re on the stage.”

Miller said these methods include different ways of preparing for character roles and organizing thoughts on how to act in a given role.

“You don’t really realize how it works until you see it for yourself,” Miller said.

Delia Brown, producing director for PTK, said that Leonard came up with the idea of doing “Art” last year and has been successful so far.

“They are perfect for the roles they’re playing,” Brown said.

“Art” is a farce on the modern art movement. Stroot’s character, Serge(cq) purchases a white canvas for $200,000, but argues he sees more than just a shade a white.

This causes a conflict with Leonard’s character, Marc,(cq) who doesn’t understand why his friend would pay so much money for a white canvas. Young’s character, YvanCQ, plays as the comic relief. These events start to put tension of the men’s friendships.

Stroot said he had a blast working with Young and Leonard.

“It was Dr. Leonard’s idea to do this. He’s my predecessor, and he’s really been putting everything together,” Stroot said. “Lots of students work down there, and it’s an added incentive for them to see us,” he said.

One of those students is Bowling Green senior Chris Hill, who is the master electrician for the play.

“I’ve had all of these professors for different classes, and it’s neat to see them outside of the classroom and on the stage,” Hill said. “I think it’s a really good play.”

Bill Leonard is on optional retirement, he used to be the department head of theatre and dance. He now teaches two classes at Western.

“Working with them is a joy,” he said. “Working with people on a high level raises the play to a high level.” Young agrees that acting in the play has been a good opportunity.

“Bill and Scott have been great to work with. No problems or frictions,” Young said. “It’s really been quite pleasant and comfortable.

“It’s been a lot of work in a short amount of time, but they’re good and they know what they’re doing.”

Kate McFarland, the play’s stage manager, said the cast and crew put in about 25 hours of work a week during the first three weeks of rehearsal, and 30 hours a week during the week before opening night.

“It has been a lot of work, but I’ve really enjoyed it,” McFarland said.

Reach Catherine Damron at [email protected]