“Monmouth College offers U.S.premiere of Black Mountain”

The Monmouth College Theatre Department will make history with the U.S. premiere of Brad Birch’s play, Black Mountain, which plays October 7-9 at 7:30pm and October 10 at 2:00pm at the Fusion Theater, 230 S Main St., Monmouth, Illinois. 

The theatre department’s website describes Black Mountain as a tense, psychological thriller about betrayal and forgiveness, and details the story as “Rebecca and Paul are running away. Away from memories and mistakes. They’re trying to save their relationship. They need time and space. An isolated house in the country is the perfect place to work things out. They set themselves rules: they have to be honest, they have to listen and they have to be fair. But you can’t run forever. Especially when you’re being followed”.

Senior History major Bekkah Gebe, from Sandwich, Illinois, serves as stage manager for the production.  She recommends seeing the production because “it’s something different, it’ll put you on the edge of your seat and keep you there.”

This is Gebe’s fourth time stage-managing a production for the theatre department.  “I try to coordinate all the moving parts in order to make the show run smoothly,” said Gebe. “ I communicate with all the different departments, actors, and directors to let them know what’s going on with the show. During the show, I make sure that actors are ready to go and that the show is set to start. When the play is actually being performed, I sit in the control booth and make sure that the lights, sounds, and special effects happen when they are supposed to.”

Gebe enjoys being a stage manager because “I like getting to watch the show come together from just a concept to a full-blown production. I love seeing the set being built, the actors getting more comfortable with their characters, and when the production team gets everything set. I also like the friendships that are built among the cast and crew during the time we’re putting the show together. One of my favorite parts of my job, on the technical side, is calling a show. It’s so cool to help make the show flow as the production team had imagined it.”

Gebe stated Black Mountain is different from other productions she has stage managed because it only has three actors. The play, directed by Professor Todd Quick, will feature performances from Kaitlyn Fisher, Elijah Lind and AB Bryan.  Real-life couple Kaitlyn Fisher and Elijah Lind play the married couple, Paul and Becca and AB Bryan plays the mysterious Helen. “Kaitlyn is such a captivating actor…she is so effortless and so natural onstage,” said Quick. “AB is a senior theatre major and I have been working with her for four years now.  I could tell from our first year acting class that they were a special performer with unlimited potential.  Elijah Lind is playing his first leading role at Monmouth and is in every scene of the play and drives the action.  It is exciting watching the rehearsal process unfold.”

Quick said that although rehearsals take place over a 5-6 week time period, directing actually requires months of research prior to meeting with actors and designers. He laughed “I actually have been working on and thinking about producing this play for almost eight years.  I first came across the script before I came to Monmouth College, when I was working at University of Idaho and I instantly fell in love with the script.  It scared me when I was reading it and that hadn’t happened with a playscript before.”

Quick said that “my favorite line from the show, which actually made it onto our production poster is ‘I think I want you to hurt’ which gave me chills when I first read it.”

  “For the price of a good latte, you can see this show,” said Quick. “…it’s a great script… (and) this will be the last Monmouth College theatre production to take place in the Fusion Theater so it would be nice to have a great turnout for the last show.”

Tickets can be purchased at www.monmouthcollege.edu/academics/theatre/current-production-season/ or by visiting the Box Office at the Wells Theater. Box Offices hours are M,W,F 3:00pm-4:00pm and T,R 2:00pm-3:00pm. You can call the Box Office at 309-255-3162.

Melanie Delbridge – Staff Writer

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