SBCC theatre department sets the stage for in-person productions

Matt Talbott, Director of City College’s production of “Laughing with Durang,” informs the actors of upcoming photoshoots and rehearsals on Oct. 27 in the Jurkowitz Theatre at City College in Santa Barbara, Calif. The show will play from Nov. 10 to Nov. 20 in the Jurkowitz Theatre.

Sydney Hammer, Staff Writer

The theatre arts department returns to the stage with “Laughing with Durang,” a night of short plays.

Director Matt Talbott describes the play as a “pretty crazy comedy.” 

“When we selected the play, we figured everybody needed a breather from the heavy times we just went through,” Talbott said. “We figured let’s not do a tragedy, let’s do something that’s a release for people.”

The production has been rehearsing for six weeks, five nights a week. Although the Theatre Group already performed in person with their production of “Ripcord,” this is the first fully student-acted show for the department since returning from the pandemic.

The production consists of several short plays written by American playwright Christopher Durang. Durang is known for his articulation of humor and peculiarities in his comedy productions. 

“It’s really funny. It’s wacky and lighthearted, not political. It’s going to be a good night at the theatre,” Talbott said. “People can laugh and have fun after not being in the theatre for a long time.”

Actors are ecstatic to be back in person and on stage after the past year of COVID-19 social distancing and isolation.

“I feel human again. It feels good to be in the theatre in person,” student actor Tyler Witucki said. Witucki plays Tom, Jim and Marcus in the production. “Last year was a weird “from home” virtual process that didn’t feel right.”

Although masks and safety regulations are still required, the cast is still happy to be doing what they love. Luckily, the actors do not have to wear masks while performing on stage.

Student actor George Sullivan who plays the character of Lawrence calls in-person productions “rejuvenating.”

“It’s something a lot of people have been deprived of. This is the first chance in almost two years I’ve had to do something like this. It’s great!” Sullivan said.

After having a difficult time teaching classes online, Talbott is relieved to have his students back in action, rehearsing in person and performing on stage.

“It’s so lovely. I needed this, I needed to create and be in the theatre,” he said. “I can’t even tell you how much fun it is.”

The cast of 17 actors will be performing “Laughing with Durang” from Nov. 10 through Nov. 20 in the Jurkowitz Theatre at City College.

Audience members must bring proof of vaccination and a mask in order to attend the production.

Tickets are available through the Theatre Group’s website.