The Department of Theater will be performing the play “The Salonniéres” at the Diamond Theater in Zoellner Arts Center from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1.
Rachel McIntosh, ‘26, who plays Francoise, said attendees can expect a phenomenal script, ironically funny moments and a feminist story.
According to the Department of Theatre, the story follows a young girl in pre-Revolutionary Paris who is promised in marriage to an older nobleman in exchange for her father’s debts. She flees to the literary salon of her late mother’s friends who tell reinvented folk tales with radical politics concealed within them.
“They actually invent and speak rather subversive fairy tales,” director Augustine Ripa said. “Fairy tales that are thinly veiled criticisms of the power structure that they live with.”
This will be the first time all of the five cast members will be performing in a play at Lehigh. Four of the five members are first-year students, Ripa said.
Ripa said many first-year students auditioned, which was more than they would typically cast.
“These particular first-year students were dyed in the wool theater kids,” Ripa said.
Laurel Marx, ‘26, said Lehigh’s theater department allowed her more creative freedom than she had in high school. Marx plays Madeleine De Sauveterre.
“(The play has) some risque jokes that we just wouldn’t have done in high school,” McIntosh said.
The department held open call auditions on Aug. 23 and 24 with callbacks taking place on the evening of Aug. 24. Rehearsals started shortly after auditions.
Marx said the cast set an “intense deadline” of two weeks post-casting to be “off-book.” She said she is preparing for the play by re-reading the script daily.
“I find new ways or thought processes that my character might be going through, which helps me try new things during rehearsal,” cast member Giselle Kimball, 24, said.
McIntosh said she records herself speaking to help her memorize the script. She said listening to the cadence of her voice and focussing on developing her character allow her to practice her role.
With less than a month before the show opens, the cast will be rehearsing five days a week for two to three hours each day, Ripa said.
McIntosh said she is excited for the staging and the costumes to make the show all come together.
Ripa said playwright Liz Duffy Adams will be in attendance at the show on Sept. 30 and will join the cast on stage for a talkback after the performance.
“We really look forward to a beautiful production as well as a compelling one,” Ripa said.
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