(Featured photo: OCCC Theatre Arts presents Eugène Ionesco’s classic absurdist comedy, THE BALD SOPRANO – Courtesy photo)
OCCC’s theater department has been entertaining audiences by presenting plays at the Bruce Owen Theatre, such as their previous performance of the Greek tragedy Antigone and most recently, The Bald Soprano.
The Bald Soprano is a one-act play written by Romanian-French playwright Eugene Ionesco and is considered a seminal play in the Theater of the Absurd movement.
OCCC Theater Professor Don Russell described The Bald Soprano as a play that illustrates the absurdity of life, as is a trademark of the Theater of The Absurd movement.
“It was born out of World War II and how absurd the whole situation was and how life can seem illogical in a lot of ways,” Russell said.
Russell explained some of the background of the play, such as how Ionesco was initially inspired to write The Bald Soprano based on his travels to England.
Ionesco was taken aback by how proper and polite everyone appeared on the surface, and how the English countrymen never wanted to offend their fellow associates.
“The play is a commentary on social conventions and how absurd they really are. So, the play consists of a lot of non-rational dialogue, so it’s difficult to discern what they’re actually talking about,” Russell said.
While there is no discernible story in The Bald Soprano, Russell described the play as being about two couples who are visiting each other and making small talk. They eventually meet the fire chief, who is dating the maid of one of the couples.
Michaela McCall, who plays Mrs. Martin, said she enjoyed being a part of the cast for The Bald Soprano.
“It’s been really fun, and it’s been a really great educational experience in the world of theater,” McCall said.
McCall added that she has been acting since she was six years old, and she loves to perform.
She said that her favorite part of working on The Bald Soprano was helping to create the sets for the play.
The Bald Soprano ran from Wednesday, April 6, 2022 to Saturday, April 9, 2022, to positive audience reaction. Audience member Jacki Kilinc said that she hadn’t seen The Bald Soprano before, but she enjoyed it.
“I loved how it was so nonsensical, but made so much sense at the same time,” Kilinc said.
Kilinc further noted if people compared the play to real life, they would understand why the play was so funny.
Kilinc was there because her niece, Annah Ledesma, was in the play, portraying the maid, Mary. Annah’s mother, Georgina, also noted that she enjoyed the play too.
Kilinc said she was attracted to the play because she had never heard of The Bald Soprano before, along with supporting her niece.
“I’ve been in the theater. I love the theater, but I’ve never heard of this particular play,” she said.
Kilinc’s favorite character in the play was her niece, but she added that everyone did very well in their roles.
She also added that she was impressed by the timing of the performers’ lines as well as their physical acting.
“If you know anything about theater, it was really hard to do. Their timing had to be impeccable in order to sync with each other and they did a fabulous job,” Kilinc said.
Kilinc said she would love to come and see more shows. While she had seen some ballet and dance performances, she had never seen a play at OCCC before, and she would like to see another one in the future.