Two Albion College students were involved in The Peppermint Creek Theater Company in Lansing during a production of Big Love. The show had seven performances. Based on American-written play The Suppliants, by Charles Mee, this rendition features a smaller cast, but keeps the basic idea.
The play follows a group of fifty sisters, who are escaping arranged marriages with their cousins. This play focuses on three sisters and three cousins who run away to Italy to take refuge in a mansion. The family who dwells there takes them in, but they still must marry. A plot hatched to murder the betrothed men. Logic, tradition and emotions clashed in the dramatic production.
Peter Verhaeghe, Swartz Creek senior, was the assistant for costume design. He got involved through Amber Cook, professor and Albion College Theater’s costume designer. Verhaeghe has worked on other productions outside Albion Theater, like at the Ohio Light Opera.
“I brainstormed with Amber about concepts for the costumes,” Verhaeghe said. “I also helped out during fittings as well as with alterations and dress rehearsal notes.”
Zach Neithercut, Flint senior, was an actor in the cast of nine playing Oed, one of the three cousins. He has been in other productions outside of Albion Theater, starring in Fiddler on the Roof in Flint.
“[My audition] went very well,” Neithercut said. “I got an email from Amber saying the director said I did a good job.”
Neithercut auditioned with a scene from the show, and was called back to do some blocking and working with other actors before being cast.
Both Verhaeghe and Neithercut have aspirations for theater-related careers in the future. Verhaeghe wants to stay behind the scenes.
“Eventually, I would like to go to graduate school to pursue a Master’s degree in technical theatre,” Verhaeghe said.
Neithercut wants to be in the spotlight, no matter what the performance is.
“I don’t necessarily want to act, but I definitely want to be in performance,” Neithercut said. “I’d like to sing and act, but definitely stage work.”
Working on Big Love has led to future opportunities for Verhaeghe.
“This experience has taught me a lot about alterations on costumes for both men and women,” Verhaeghe said. “It has also taught me about the power of networking.”
Verhaeghe will be working on Peppermint Creek’s upcoming production of Clybourne Park for lighting and sound. Neithercut also has grown from working at Big Love.
“I hadn’t really done a show that involved too much stage combat, so that’s one thing I definitely learned,” Neithercut said. “Like every show I’ve done, this experience has taught me more as an actor in general.”
Photo via peppermintcreek.org