This weekend, the Albion Theater Department will be performing Fefu and Her Friends written by Maria Irene Fornes at Belmont Manor. At first glance, Belmont Manor looks like a large vacant building, but Fefu and Her Friends gives you the opportunity to experience the play while traveling through the different rooms that make up this beautiful estate.
At the play’s start, we are introduced to three characters from the all woman cast, Fefu, Cindy and Christina. They are sitting in the main room discussing Fefu’s relationship with her husband and their opinions on things they find revolting.
Christina, a woman of etiquette, is clearly frazzled by Fefu’s take on marriage and her fascination with revolting things. This becomes more apparent when Fefu walks out the back door and shoots her husband with a dud.
As the scene continues the other characters begin to introduce themselves. The dynamics of the scene changes as Julia enters the room in a wheelchair. The audience learns that Julia became paralyzed after a hunting accident. We soon find out that the bullet did not hit Julia but that the bullet hit the deer. The confusion begins to sink in as the audience is broken up into four separate groups that travel through different areas of Belmont Manner.
Having the opportunity to experience Belmont Manner through Fefu and Her Friends was a unique opportunity. It has always been one of those buildings that has sparked my curiosity, but I have never had the opportunity to go see for myself. Although Belmont Manor was beautifully designed, the view of the open field and equestrian center was astounding. Luckily, one of the scenes takes place outside which gives the audience the opportunity to take in the view from the yard.
I was impressed by the actresses’ abilities to perform and express different emotions to their audience in both the large and small scenes. The transitions between the different sets were smooth and helped me from getting too fidgety during the play.
In addition, the sound effects, gun shots and bells, enhanced the show in a unique way. Although there were only a few, they made me feel as if I was a fly on the wall in Fefu’s home.
I would recommend setting aside an hour and a half of your day to go see Fefu and Her Friends performed at Belmont Manor. During this time of year, we students are often stressed with final exams and projects, but this play is the perfect study break. Not only do you have the opportunity to walk through Belmont Manor, but you have the chance to experience Belmont Manor through Fefu and Her Friends.
Fefu and Her Friends runs this weekend April 21t at 8 p.m., April 22 at 2 and 8 p.m., and April 23 at 2 p.m. at Belmont Manor, located at 906 Haven Road. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $3 each.
Photo courtesy of Albion College