‘Closer’ set to debut at UAF

Larry (Andrew Cassel) goes to a strip club where Alice (Katrina Kuhadich) works as a stripper. Their significant others just split up with both of them and are now a couple leaving Larry and Alice single and crushed. Larry tries to talk to Alice about the break-up and find companionship in her. Sarah Manriquez/ Photo Editor

Larry (Andrew Cassel) goes to a strip club where Alice (Katrina Kuhadich) works as a stripper. Their significant others just split up with both of them and are now a couple leaving Larry and Alice single and crushed. Larry tries to talk to Alice about the break-up and find companionship in her. Sarah Manriquez / Photo Editor

Kyrie Long / Copy Editor

Sex, relationship turmoil and abuse abound in the UAF Theatre production of “Closer,” which opens on Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Due to the nature of the plot, the show is recommended for mature audiences. “Closer” follows the development of four characters over the span of four years.  The play spans between 1997-2001, according to director and UAF senior, Ian Buoncore, who is pursuing a degree in theatre with  concentration in directing.

This production is the thesis project for Buoncore, who cites it as being his “biggest challenge.”

Andrew Cassel portrays Larry, a dermatologist, alongside Brandi Larson, a theatre student in possession of a biology degree, who plays Anna.

“It’s supposed to be kind of the bad parts of life,” Larson said, regarding the plot.  “There’s also really happy pieces in it.  I mean, It’s supposed to be a comedy… Even in the worst possible situation you can still find a little bit of humor.”

It helps to go for a run to get into character, according to Larson, who says it helps with her nerves.

The atmosphere surrounding the cast and crew involved production is like returning home, according to Cassel, a UAF theatre alumni.

“It’s great to be working on the stage again with the current people who are going through the program,” Cassel said.

The other two cast members include Katrina Kuharich as Alice and Mallory Smyth as Dan.  Smyth and Kuhrich are both senior theatre students at UAF.

Crew members remarked on the darker themes of mental abuse and the balance of trust in turbulent relationships present throughout the play.

“It’s a really intense show,” Birdie Wattum, soundboard operator said, regarding the more mature themes present in the production.

Despite not being able to see much of the play due to her location in the sound booth, many of the exercises Buoncore has the actors participate in leading up to the show have portrayed to Wattum the seriousness of the production, she said.

The play, which ends in tragedy for one of the four leads, leaves the connections between the other three complicated, according to Buoncore.

“It’s very adult,” Buoncore said.

“It’s a show that you’ll walk away from and still be thinking about days later,” Wattum said. “It covers a lot of taboo topics that people don’t like to talk about openly.”

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1 Response

  1. Thank you for covering this exciting, student-directed production!

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