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CCRI Players present student-directed performance of 'The Dining Room'
Feb. 28, 2013
The Community College of Rhode Island Players will present "The Dining Room" by A.R. Gurney as its annual student project from Thursday to Sunday, Feb. 28 to March 3, at the Liston Campus in Providence.
CCRI Theatre students Brittany Boudreau of Woonsocket and Branigan Duguay of Warwick direct this series of vignettes involving an assortment of families and characters of all ages and generations.
The actors play 59 characters in 18 scenes, with characters ranging from a 5-year-old boy to a 90-year-old grandfather. All of the action takes place in the dining room of one particular stately home that, through the years, has changed hands from one generation or family to another.
"Nobody comes near a dining room anymore," declares one character. "The thought of sitting down with a number of intelligent, attractive people to enjoy good food well-cooked and properly served ... that apparently doesn't occur to people anymore."
While "The Dining Room" focuses on a vanishing class of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) American society spanning from the 1930s to the 1980s, its compassionate humor and abundant humanity is still a captivating expression of the nature of human relationships – whatever the socio-economic class or cultural background.
And Gurney's 30-year-old play still raises provocative questions for today's Americans, living in vastly different times: What have we gained or lost with the disappearance of the traditional dining room? Has technology given us the ability to connect 24/7 but robbed us of the art of developing meaningful personal relationships through conversation? What is the new dining room in today's society, where priorities center on what's fast, convenient and driven by technology?
A student-directed production has been on the CCRI Players' main stage schedule in each season since 2004-05. Boudreau and Duguay have previously worked on a number of productions at CCRI.
A performance track student, Boudreau played Lorraine in the Players' season opener, "The Receptionist" and reprised her performance when the play was recently performed at the KC/ACTF Region 1 Festival in Hyannis, Mass. She played Reba and was assistant director for "The Last Night of Ballyhoo" in December. Last spring, she appeared as Ruth in "A Contemporary American's Guide to a Successful Marriage © 1959" and as Mrs. Kincaid in "A Ringing of Doorbells," a segment of "The Seven Deadly Sins."
Duguay, a technical track student and a scene shop assistant, designed the set for "The Receptionist" and the lighting for "The Last Night of Ballyhoo." Last spring, he was the stage manager for "A Contemporary American's Guide to a Successful Marriage © 1959" and technical director for "The Seven Deadly Sins." He has been a technical intern at the KC/ACTF Region 1 Festival for the past two years.
"The Dining Room" has set design by Professor Luke J. Sutherland; lighting and sound design, respectively, by students Michael Colantonio of West Greenwich and Kaisey Caputo of Johnston; costume design by Professor Jeffrey A. Butterworth and technical direction by Russell Swift. Stage managers are Elizabeth Souin of Cranston and Michael Colantonio.
Members of the cast, most of whom are performing in their first CCRI production, are: Amanda Beaton and Ryan Mundy of Providence; Cameron Burt and Lauren Germano of West Warwick; Ryan Cloutier of Pawtucket; Cody Dyer of Coventry; Lauren Ferreira and Marina Kiczek of Cranston; Glenn Houlker and Victoria LaFond of Warwick; Erika Pistacchio of East Greenwich; and Jessica Still of North Kingstown.
Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28 to March 2, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 3. Tickets cost $10 for the general public and $8 for students, senior citizens and children. Telephone reservations may be made by calling 401-825-2219 at any time.