After nearly 18 months of preparations and set-backs, Albion College Theatre’s production of “The Flick” was finally performed for live audiences on Sept. 23.
“The Flick” was originally casted in February 2020 and was scheduled to open later that spring. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, the cast and crew were forced to halt on-campus preparation for the play three weeks prior to its first-scheduled opening night.
“The Flick” was moved from the spring of 2020 to the following November.
“When we were canceled three weeks before opening night, we said goodbye for what we thought would be a few months, and cheered ourselves by announcing that we would remount The Flick in November 2020,” said Zach Fischer, director of “The Flick,” in the play’s program.
Yet again, the play did not open as planned. Because of Albion College and Calhoun County COVID-19 restrictions, “The Flick” was further postponed to the fall of 2021. It finally premiered at the Herrick Theatre on Sept. 23.
“The Flick” tells the story of three movie theater employees, Avery, a young man played by Carlton L. Williams II; Sam, a middle-aged theater employee played by Sam Vanderveen and Rose, an edgy woman in her 20s played by Alexis Mckinley. Avery, Sam and Rose struggle and face adversities throughout the telling of the play.
Avery is quiet and has difficulties opening up to others. He also loves film. Because of this, he is extremely upset when he learns the movie theater is switching from film projection to modern digital media.
Rose is a 20-something woman with an edge. She is often looking for drama and is not interested in her work at the theater. Rose also catches feelings for Avery who does not return the same feelings.
Sam is a seasoned employee at the theater. He struggles because he remains in the same position while new hires move up the ranks. Sam also claims to be in love with Rose, but Rose does not reciprocate Sam’s feelings.
The play ends with the characters experiencing conflict with each other and with their boss. Avery quits his position. Sam and Rose both stay, but it does not seem as though they will interact with each other much after the play concludes.
Despite the multiple delays, the play’s three main characters were still performed by the individuals originally cast in the roles.
This extended amount of time enabled the cast to really get to know their characters.
“We all in the cast loved the play so much, so we all in the cast read it during COVID,” said Carlton L. Williams II. “We really have been living with these characters for 18 months.”
The Flick’s extended timeline also created a unique situation for Williams, one of the play’s lead actors. William’s was a senior when the play was first cast and graduated in the spring of 2020. Despite Williams’ change in status from Albion student to alum, he returned to Albion this fall to play Avery in “The Flick”.
“I believe I have Ron Mourad, [Albion College Provost], to thank for my ability to stay on campus while rehearsing,” said Williams. “I came back for about seven weeks to rehearse and prepare for ‘The Flick’.”
The completion of “The Flick” provided Williams with a sense of closure that he did not experience with his graduation from Albion in 2020.
“The Flick meant a lot to ‘do,’ especially for me,” said Williams. “I think it was huge because the class of 2020 did not have a real graduation, so this show for me was equivalent to a graduation.”
“The Flick” closed on October 2.