Fences plays for free

LMC actors stun crowd

Los Medanos College’s Drama Department performed a free showing of August Wilson’s renowned play Fences last Wednesday Feb. 17 at the California Theater in downtown Pittsburg. Their production of Fences has been chosen to perform at the 46th annual Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) during this week of Feb. 18-22.

The theater was a full house with over 300 seats filled, many of those who arrived closer to the 7 p.m. show time had to be turned away.

Mario Castillo, the actor who played Cory Maxson, described the performance night as “exciting, scary, nerve-wracking, awesome and spectacular.”

“The energy was high. The crowd was amazing,” added Castillo. The crowd was quite responsive, especially to the little details. “It made me want to do things in more detail to see if they would respond, you know, like a little smirk to see them catching it.”

Being on a bigger stage, the actors had to perform slightly different. Castillo describes performing on the Little Theater’s stage as more personal “like you’re literally there with that character” because of the small, round set up.

“For the big theater performances, the actors have to be more outgoing with their emotions so that people can still feel that emotion on a personal level,” Castillo added. “So I think it’s more harder on the actor to let the audience in their emotions on a big stage.”

Actress Arionna White, who played Rose Maxson, agreed that playing on a bigger stage was different. White had to zone out the faces of the audience so she would not be looking directly at them even though she was looking at one of the other characters.

“I think pieces were better just because we got to connect with things more and we had more time to develop certain emotional moments that we wanted,” said White.

Although White believed the performance to be a success, there were some shortcomings.

“It had some mishaps but it was perfect with the mishaps. You know, mishaps make it more life-like instead of things always going perfect. When there’s miss ups, it’s more genuine,” said White.

The rest of the cast as well as a total of 27 students from the Drama Department will continue to be at the KCACTF until Feb. 22, but the performance of Fences at the festival was performed on Feb. 18.