Susquehanna students to perform apocalyptic production

Susquehanna University’s Theatre Department will perform “Marisol,” through a livestream feed on Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee performance at 2:30 p.m.

SELINSGROVE — In a world where nothing makes sense anymore, many people turn to a higher power. But what happens when heaven itself is trying to quell a rebellion?

Susquehanna University’s Theatre Department will perform “Marisol,” by Jose Rivera, as part of its 2020-21 Main Stage Season, directed by guest director and SU alum, Darrell Lawrence Willis, artistic director of the Dunbar Repertory Company in Middletown, New Jersey.

Performances will be livestreamed today through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee performance at 2:30 p.m. Zoom links can be purchased for $5 by contacting the University Box Office at 570-372-ARTS between noon and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

In the tradition of magical realism, “Marisol” tells the apocalyptic story of Marisol Perez, a Manhattan copy editor who lives alone in the Bronx neighborhood where she grew up. One evening, Marisol’s guardian angel tells her she can no longer protect Marisol—the guardian angel is joining in a revolution against “an old and senile God.”

Sophomore Adriana Quinones plays the guardian angel.

“What I believe the audience would like about my character is that the angel is not what anyone would expect an angel to be like or act like,” Quinones said. “How the angel is described in the script … and how I play it as an actor is that she has a rebel side but is doing something for the greater good.”

As stated in a press release, “With the heavens in an uproar, social stability and natural order rapidly begin to deteriorate on Earth. Acid rain burns the skin; apples and coffee are extinct. The sun never rises and the moon is lost in the orbit of another planet. Men can bear children. Like the other poor mortals suffering without assistance from on high, Marisol does her best to stumble along, trying to make sense of a world gone mad.”

Quinones’ angel tries her best to help in this bizarre situation.

“The angel is not thinking about herself but about the people who are living on Earth and trying to stop the Earth from crumbling into dust,” Quinones said. “She is not playing around when she tells Marisol what is going on in the world and how her plan will play out. The angel is different, and the audience will find her interesting.”

Like no other play, this one leaves the audience speechless, Quinones said.

“Marisol” received its World Premiere at the 1992 Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky. Willis noted the similarities of chaos in Marisol’s world and in today’s pandemic-stricken world.

“This play has the potential to awaken a bruised and battered national audience with the dark absurdities of our current pandemic,” said Willis, SU Theatre Alumni Class of ’74.

Quinones said she was surprised at the amount of chaos and “weird things” the play portrays. She praised her fellow actors for their acting skill.

“There are parts that my fellow castmates play that just blow me away with how talented they are. They just bring their characters to life,” she said. “In all honesty, this play is crazy, but one can relate to the chaos that is happening in the play to how we are living in this world because of the pandemic.”

Susquehanna’s box office will be open for one hour before every performance. Zoom tickets are free for Susquehanna students.

Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email comments to her at CindyOHerman@gmail.com

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