Fall semester’s first play delivers ‘Den of Thieves’

By Francisco Portillo 

The Department of Theatre Arts is putting on its first play of the fall semester, “Den of Thieves,” a story by Stephen Adly Guirgis.

Director Rodney Lloyd Scott said the show follows a group of  four people “who are not the brightest of characters.”

In the world of thieves, they are probably amongst some of the dumbest.

Set in New York City in the 1990s, these characters get an opportunity that they think will be a simple way to get rich quick, but quickly get in over their heads.

“Four people decide to rob a den for $760,00 but when they get there, it’s the Italian mafia that they’re trying to rob,” Scott said.

The rehearsals for the play have been going on since mid-August.

“I’m very proud because I have two first-time actors, but I don’t think anyone is going to be able to tell who the first-timers are,” said Scott.

One of the actors in the play is Jasia Topete, who is playing Maggie.

“Maggie is a kleptomaniac who is trying to make changes in her life and find a way out of her current situation,” Topete said.

“I can’t wait for the audience to finally see the play so that we can take them on a journey. I hope to make (the audience) believe that I actually am this character,” Topete said.

The play will be put on in the Black Box Theatre, which will place the audience into the same space as the actors and the set.

In the Black Box theatre, the   actors do not use what is referred to as the “fourth wall” and will sometimes interact with the audience.

In other theatre spaces on campus, like the Proscenium, the audience is separated from the performers on stage.

The designer of the set, Priscilla Buelea, came from UCLA to work with the director and has won awards

“I think the audience is going to love it. I think they’re going to be shocked at what they see. It is one of the best plays ELAC has ever had,” Scott said.

Students who have never experienced live theatre before should consider making this their first play.

“This is a great one to start with,” Scott said.

The opening night of the play will be on Friday and will run through Oct. 23.

Matinee showtimes for the performances will be at 2 p.m. while the evening showtimes will be at 8 p.m.

Students may have noticed the flyer posted around the campus.

The flyer shows a dead fish with three dismembered fingers lying below the fish.

“There is a line in the play in which the mafia says, ‘I need three thumbs and a dead body,’ so the designer came up with this poster,” Scott said.

The wrapped up fish is supposed to symbolize the previously mentioned dead body in the story.

The sleeping-with-the-fish term from the Italian mafia is what inspired the usage of the fish on the poster.

Judging from the poster alone, students could expect the show to be dramatic but will be in for a surprise.

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