“Stop Kiss” actors deliver a dynamic performance

The UAF theatre production “Stop Kiss,” directed by Carrie Baker, stage actor, director and UAF faculty member, premiered Friday, Oct. 30. The small cast of six actors delivered a dynamic, emotionally diverse performance. The play starred senior theater students Sierra Trinchet as Sara and Katrina Kuharich as Callie. A reception for the cast and crew followed the

Callie visits Sara in the hospital and pleads with her to wake up. - Grace Bieber / Sun Star

Callie visits Sara in the hospital and pleads with her to wake up. – Grace Bieber / Sun Star

 

event.

The play opens with Callie dancing around her messy apartment, the coffee table littered with newspapers and takeout and bright, spunky clothing spread across the couch. When Sara arrives to drop off her cat Cesar, whom she can no longer take of, the small town girl and city socialite soon hit it off.

With fast-paced transitions and alternating timelines, the story of Callie and Sara’s relationship is unveiled through a sequence of brief, interconnected moments. Cassandra Black, a freshman business administration student said that she liked the non-linear timeline.

“The layout was really good and the actors did a really good job,” Black said.

Kuharich, as Callie, handled the dramatic shifts with ease—transitioning seamlessly from the humorously awkward, high-energy scenes of Callie and Sara’s budding relationship, to the dark and bittersweet moments following the night that they were attacked. The full range of emotions that she displayed brought realness to the character and story.

One of the most moving, intimate, moments in the play is when Callie assists Sara, who has recently emerged from a coma, in getting dressed. Callie puts aside her initial uneasiness to embrace the new dynamic of their relationship.  The two girls must work together to accomplish the task, first, Callie, placing one arm into the shirt, and then encouraging Sara, who has very little range in movement, to try on her own.  These small successes bring joy to Callie’s face, and a silly grin to Sara’s.

Callie is questioned by Detective Cole. - Grace Bieber / Sun Star

Callie is questioned by Detective Cole. – Grace Bieber / Sun Star

Trinchett, as Sara, also played dramatic shifts from light-hearted moments like drinking and laughing in Callie’s apartment, to lying stiff in a comatose state. Trinchett delicately balanced the awkwardness of Sara’s hidden feelings for Callie with sweetness and humor in scenes, such as when Sara brings Callie flowers to make up after a fight.

“I thought it was really personal. Most works about LGBT couples focus on the controversy, but this goes into the actual relationship,” Alma Fisher, a sophomore history student said.

The other performers in the play include Nate Cole as Detective Cole, who persistently questions Callie after the night of the attack and the straight-forward, but concerned witness, Mrs. Winsley, played by Cynthia Jones. These scenes provide the clues for the audience to piece together the events.

Corey Dirutigliano plays George, who has been dating Callie on-and-off-again since they were 20. Their relationship is playful and familiar, with a hint of jealousy displayed towards each other’s other love interests. An awkward, but humorous scene ensues when George shows up to Callie’s apartment unexpectedly as she is preparing to go out to dinner with Sara at a nice restaurant. Throughout the play, George hints at the familiarity between Sara and Callie without directly asking Callie about her relationship with Sara.

Cynthia Jones also plays the dedicated nurse that takes care of Sara and urges Callie to take on the responsibility of learning how to bathe Sara when she is in a coma. Mallory Smyth plays Peter, Sara’s ex-boyfriend who still has feelings for Sara and wants to take care of her after she is attacked.

Additional performances can be seen Nov. 6-7 at 7:30 p.m. The cast and crew of “Stop Kiss” will have their final performance on Sunday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m.

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