Burning Emotions

Photo by Harley Putzer.

Relatable and reflective on the bigger picture, this semester’s Blackbox production, Stand and Burn is a must see for its relatability and heart-wrenching portrayal of the struggle in finding who you truly are.

Stand and Burn, a new play written by Nick Magnanti and directed by Casey Morris, tells the story of one man’s struggle to accept himself in a society that is suppressive toward sexuality.

This play is written so beautifully and with such keen sensitivity that the words should be treated as poetry. The play is relatable to anyone who has ever had trouble accepting or discovering who they’re truly meant to be. The characters in this piece are very complex, and when the play was over, I found myself wanting to know more about them.

The play has musical and fluid aspects to it, which heightened the emotionality of the show. The scenes invoked feelings of love or unease. Christopher Ricci, a second-year theater arts major and the sound designer for the production said the show’s sound is powerful.

“When a sound plays, you have a goal with that sound. You want a specific reaction from the audience,” Ricci said.

Elise Smalley, a senior and a theater major, is the stage manager for Stand and Burn. Smalley provided the information of what a Blackbox production at New Paltz is all about.

“Blackbox is a student driven piece of work that’s held in either Parker or McKenna each semester,” Smalley said. “It’s a chance for a student director to bring either new work or an existing work to the stage.”

Eric Glauber, a fourth-year theater arts major, stars as the character Peter in Stand and Burn. Throughout the play Peter struggles with coming to terms with who he truly is. As a result, it affects his actions as a person. Glauber, gives a raw performance as Peter. He feels that the message of acceptance that is shown throughout the play is a positive one.

“As a college student, in some way or another you deal with acceptance and having to either be accepted or accept that you do not to care if someone accepts you,” Glauber said. “I think that is something everyone can relate to,” .

Nick Magnanti, a third-year journalism major, is the playwright of Stand and Burn, and his passion for journalism shines through his play.

“As a journalism major, a big part of me feels the need to use different forms of writing like theater to bring about a story that is really specific but has characters that people are able to relate to,” Magnanti said. “I want to have people enjoy the character’s as individuals but also have their story relate to a larger social issue as well.”

For Casey Morris, a third-year theater arts major, directing Stand and Burn has been a “very exciting challenge.”

“It’s a longer and far more emotional script than anything I have directed before,” Morris said. “It was important to me for actors to make their own discoveries about their characters, so in rehearsals I would lean more towards asking them questions, and then incorporate the answers into my directing choices.”

Stand and Burn will be playing this weekend in Parker Theater on March 27 and 28 at 8 p.m. and March 29 at 2 p.m. with about an hour runtime. Admission is free.