The University of West Georgia Theatre Company is putting on its first rendition of Animal Farm, which began on Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Townsend Center Dangle Theater. This production is the second in the Theatre Company’s 2023-2024 season.
The theme for the 2023-2024 season is “Resistance is Futile,” which allows the Theatre Company to explore the idea of fighting back by examining classic and modern characters as they come against forces. Animal Farm is the perfect play to explore this theme.
“Animal Farm is basically about the Russian Revolution,” says Jerrod Boswell, an actor in the play with the role of Boxer. “But, instead of humans, it’s a whole army of animals taking over a farm. It also includes aspects of political issues.”
Although George Orwell wrote the original novel over seventy-five years ago, its main theme of how power can corrupt is still relevant to this day.
To earn a part in this production, students must prove themselves through a meticulous audition process.
“Here at the University of West Georgia, you have to do two monologues, one from Shakespeare and one from a contemporary play,” says Boswell.
The student’s audition shouldn’t be longer than two minutes. Also, they must memorize their monologues, and there should be evidence of character development.
Auditions for the Fall Theatre Events took place at the beginning of August. They then started rehearsals on Aug. 27. Rehearsals for Animal Farm were different from your average play rehearsals.
“For rehearsal, we became animals and practiced our animal bodies,” says Boswell. “It’s hard being an animal because getting into your animal and getting out of your animal are two different things.
“You have to learn how your animal walks, talks, breathes, eats and feels in the atmosphere,” continues Boswell.
The director, Christine Fuchs, had the actors rehearse like this so that the play is as immersive as possible and that the audience feels like they’re inside the barn as they watch the play.
Speaking of the director, Fuchs has a certain connection with the Animal Farm play adaptation playwright.
“The play was adapted for the stage by Ian Wooldridge. The director went to the same university where Wooldridge is a professor,” says Boswell. “Once she saw that he was the playwright, she contacted him. He was her professor and mentor.”
The connection between Fuchs and Wooldridge allowed the actors to have direct contact with him about their performance of the play.
“When we would call, he would tell us about the play and help us understand it,” says Boswell.
The UWG Theatre Company actors got an experience that most people don’t get during college, and it helped them with their performance.
As mentioned before, the first showing for this production was on Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. for a community preview. The following showings were on Nov. 8 and 9 at the same time. The production will continue until Nov. 17. Support the arts by going to see Animal Farm today.
For tickets, visit https://tcpa.my.salesforce-sites.com/ticket#/.