BY JESSICA LACANNE
Women who handle snakes, twirl batons, escape to Oz and ride in rodeos are the leading ladies in the play, “Talking With…,” presented by the Saint Mary’s University Department of Theatre and Dance.
The play, written by Jane Martin in the early 1980s, focuses on 11 monologues for women. The characters have no interaction but are not without connections. Universal issues will be the main connecting points including unbearable loneliness, crisis of confidence, loss of hope and struggles with faith. The play has a “timeless effect,” said director Gary Diomandes, professor of Theatre and Dance, as the “themes are universal, and a lot of people can relate.”
‘“Talking With…’ can’t be put into one genre,” said Claire Murphy, international student, one of the women starring in the play. Murphy’s character, Lila, focuses on loss and loneliness and tries to find joy in unexpected things. Murphy describes her character as “very introverted and happy where she is.” Kelly Holt, international student, will also be starring in the play. Her character, Alain, focuses on one big moment in her life that changes everything. Holt’s character, who she describes as “a bit fierce,” portrays the sad story of a woman who is hardened by being left by her husband.
The characters are “very eccentric and speak a lot of truth,” said Diomandes, who decided to work with this particular play because he has wanted to for a number of years, and the opportunity came up this year. Diomandes was also looking for a play with heavy female leads to balance out the previous male-heavy roles.
Many hours have been spent on character analysis with actresses trying to figure out their lines, but some actresses have also had to work with animals, including a snake and a cat. In addition to the animals, a mid-wife has been working with one of the cast members in order to help her get into character.
“Talking With…” will be performed at the Valencía Academy Theatre from March 4-8. March 4, 5, 6 and 8 performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. The March 7 performance will begin at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the SMU box office, Ext. 1715, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or online at www.pagetheatre.org.