‘The Cherry in Bloom’ and ‘Wildwood Park’

Mallory Steffey, Contributing Writer

The Department of Theatre and Dance will present spring student showcases in Bucknell Hall at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 3 and 4. Showcases offer theatre students interested in directing an opportunity to present their own unique show on campus to their peers. Gregory Wolf ’17 will present “The Cherry in Bloom” by Betsuyaku Minoru, a contemporary Japanese writer, as translated by Robert T. Rolf. Casey Venema ’18 will present “Wildwood Park” by Doug Wright, a refreshing theatrical take on the horror genre.

“The Cherry in Bloom” is a little known play by a little known writer hailing from Japan. Minoru explores the space between traditional Japanese theatre traditions of Noh and Kabuki and the contemporary Western theatre traditions found in absurdist and avant-garde theatre. Minoru bends notions of time and space to explore relevant social issues in a surprising and complex way. Featuring Emily Fischer ’17, Rodney West ’17, Jason Hammett ’17, Liana Irvine ’20, and Huthaifa Aladwan ’20, “The Cherry in Bloom” is different, meaningful, and constantly pushing the boundaries of Western thought.

In a new vein, “Wildwood Park” seats itself firmly in the horror genre. Wright’s ability to combine traditional and whimsical elements were what originally drew director Venema to the script. According to Venema, this combination makes the play “more disturbing and more enjoyable.” Bucknell Hall hosts “Wildwood Park” wonderfully, allowing the cast to explore the whole space, even allowing the hall to take on its own character. Working with Tom Murphy ’17 and Eric Gowat ’17, Venema has crafted a show which she says “has a little something for everyone” and, hopefully, leaves her audience considering the nature of violence a little more carefully as they walk home.

“The Cherry in Bloom” and “Wildwood Park” will open on Friday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m. The price of admission is five dollars. Those wishing to attend are encouraged to buy tickets in advance at the Weis Center for Performing Arts, by calling 570-577-1000, or online at www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice.

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