By Dominic Rapposelli
Business and Distribution Manager
On Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28, the Washington College Theater Department held their first senior capstone experience performance of the fall season: “Prometheus Burning.” The play was a performance SCE by senior Niko Chen and took place in Decker Theatre. The director was Steven Arnold, the Executive Director for the Garfield Center for the Arts located in Chestertown, Md.
“When Niko was casting for a director and I put my hat in the ring, and put in my name and resume for it, I read the script and I thought it was absolutely terrific,” Arnold said. “I love how it sort of takes the themes of the book and drives them home in a very efficient kind of way.”
The play is an adaptation of the Mary Shelley novel “Frankenstein.” “Prometheus Burning” was written by Tyler Joseph Rossi, who was in attendance for the invited dress rehearsal on Thursday, Oct. 26.
“It was lovely. I actually did this play for my senior project back in 2019 for my undergrad. I did it as a one man so it was great to see it with three actors. There was a lot more that could be done that I couldn’t do alone, so it was really nice to see a new interpretation,” Rossi said. “It was a really great way to start my Halloween weekend.”
The show featured a trio of actors: Chen, senior Grace Apostol, and junior Evan Merk. While Rossi performed the show solo, Chen was able to gather a larger cast and crew for the performance.
“It is a three person show, that means that every actor has a big load to bear. Each one plays five roles,” Chen said, “I have such an amazing team, they’ve put together such an amazing set.”
Chen found Rossi’s play on the website New Play Exchange, where playwrights can upload their works and others can reach out to use or perform them.
According to the description on New Play Exchange, “Prometheus Burning” is “a one-person adaptation of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein,’ however, it could also be done with two or three actors” in which “experimentation is highly encouraged.”
The play fits into an hour and 10 minute window, while still fulfilling its obligation to remain faithful to the original novel.
“To be able to sort of look at the, no pun intended, monstrously huge novel into that much time and still check all the boxes in its themes and its story is really impressive,” Arnold said.
The audience consisted of not only WC students but also faculty and staff as well.
One student, junior Kaitlin Osucha, particularly enjoyed the play.
“I think it was really good. It was probably one of the best productions I’ve seen and I really liked it because my best friend Evan was in it,” Osucha said. “I liked that every person had many different roles and I thought that was really cool to see throughout the production.”
Moving forward, the Department of Theatre and Dance will feature a pair of SCEs after “Prometheus Burning.” Julia Stanley’s performance SCE of “Machinal” and Skye Hass’ directing SCE of a lesbian adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” will be the other two productions for the fall season.
“As the first show in the production, I hope that I set a good standard and that the trend of successful shows continues and that people come and see these shows. This show is really
important to me and the shows are really important to the people that are doing them,” Chen said.
“Machinal,” the department’s next SCE will premier on Friday, Nov. 3 in Decker Theatre at 7:30 p.m.