“Trust” Success


Skylar Evans is the first SRJC student director.

Nadav Soroker, Layout Manager

Laughter filled the Bertolini Student Activities Center as empty-space play “Trust” completed a whirlwind production with a great response last weekend.

More than 150 people saw the show, a collaboration between the SRJC Theatre Arts Department and the SRJC Student Theatre Guild that opened Friday night and closed Sunday afternoon.

“Trust” was produced as a minimalist theater production in a small space, with basic costumes and makeup, in an intimate setting that provided the actors a chance to shine.

The production was financed evenly between the theatre department and the Student Theater Guild. The theater department paid $500, half the production cost, for licensing the script for the weekend and paying for actor nominations to the American College Theater Festival (ACTF). The Student Theatre Guild met the other half of production costs, which went toward paying for props, costumes, makeup and other expenses.

Student director Skylar Evans was pleased with the production and believed it was a great success from an educational standpoint. He gained experience in directing, and was allowed to sit in on the auditions of the main stage productions for this semester. This gave him insight into how to run an audition and what directors look for in an actor. He also thinks it was an excellent experience for the actors.

“It was legitimately the best acting I have seen from some of those actors,” Evans said.

SRJC Theatre department chair Laura Downing-Lee was instrumental in working with the Student Theatre Guild to produce the show and helping the students make the show a success. She helped decide which script to use and acted as a sounding board and mentor for Evans. She also functioned as a safety net for the production, which allowed the cast and director to experiment a little more and try things they might not have.

Profits from “Trust” went to the Theatre Guild for future projects. Due to “Trust’s” financial and educational success, Downing-Lee foresees more student productions in the future, ranging from being an official part of the theatre season to being completely produced by the Theatre Guild.

The production this semester was aimed to fill the gap that appears in the theatre department season. The department is required to produce large cast plays and musicals that give experience to as many students as possible. The empty space project had a small cast in a minimal environment and a production crew of only nine people, which sets it apart from the larger productions, which often have a crew of over 50.

“I very much want to have something like this, a second stage project, to happen in our department,” Downing-Lee said.

In addition to the financial and educational success, the play had an adjudicator from ACTF, who evaluated the actors and was guaranteed to nominate at least one to compete at the festival. Alice Glass and Madison Scarbrough have been nominated to attend the competition in the spring.