Dedicated Cast, Beautiful Performance

Photo courtesy of New Paltz Players.

From Oct. 24 to 26, the New Paltz Players presented “Beautiful Thirsty Things” at Parker Theatre, an original play free for all to enjoy.

Written by Michelle Rodriguez and directed by Eric Glauber, the one-act play lasted roughly an hour, and casted five New Paltz students.

Portraying a family that has been torn apart and made incomplete, the student-run play presented itself with a somber tone, one that accurately depicted the pain and grief of losing a loved on.

The play illustrated the pain felt by a young woman named Linda, played by fourth-year theatre major Iris Fine, and her younger sister Mira, played by second-year theatre major Jessica Lyke, as they experienced traumatic events in their lives.

Linda and Mira lived through the deaths of their mother Luz, played by fourth-year theatre and biology major Mal Walton, and father Cris, played by fourth-year theatre major Rob Gagnon.

Many of the cast members found it difficult to leave their characters and those characters’ emotions behind at rehearsals, thanks to the deep, passionate nature of the play.

“Since it’s such a heavy play, it’s hard to separate the play from your actual life,” Lyke said.

Lyke said she was experiencing the anniversary of her grandmother’s passing during the production’s run, so the emotions her character felt were not foreign to her.

Fine immediately connected with the message of the play, and that is why she signed up to be a part of it. However, she had trouble freeing herself from her character as well.

“I found discoveries from my personal life that related to the script,” Fine said. “But it was very difficult to separate myself from it.”

Walton felt the same way, saying it was not easy to forget about her role’s emotions.

“It was very overwhelming,” Walton said. “I would have to decompress after every rehearsal.”

Motifs were included to bolster the visual message of the play. Red bandanas covered Linda and Mira’s eyes every time they were contented, particularly by the use of drugs. Mira’s son Beni, played by Nick Magnati, had his eyes covered by a blue bandana to represent his mental issues.

The cast had incredible chemistry, something that they felt was needed to put on a performance.

“We had to trust each other,” Gagnon said. “We had to create a family, create bonds that are unspoken of.”

Cast members spoke very highly of each other.

“Everyone was very open and honest,” Walton said.

“The relationships I developed with the cast were truthful and powerful,” Fine said. “We really were a family.”

Walton and Gagnon said that although they enjoyed putting on the show, they were relieved that it was over, as everyone felt a little bit of the pain that their characters were going through.

The Oct. 25 play ended to a massive applause and standing ovation from the crowd, as cast members gave bows with tears in their eyes.