Students Showcase Raw Talent In “The Pavilion”

Jailynn Goforth, Student Reporter

On October 7th, 8th, and 9th, students from the Allen Theatre Department (under the direction of Trevor Belt) put on a breath-taking production of “The Pavilion”. The show was well received as it had a strong emotional impact on both the audience and the actors by really connecting to the characters and allowing student talent to really shine during the production.

“The Pavilion” is a play written by Craig Wright. The play shows the internal and external struggles that people encounter when facing past mistakes.  It centers around the story of troubled former lovers who meet again at their twenty year high-school reunion. The two struggle with the reality of the passage of time and an unattainable happiness. The main characters. Peter (played by Allen sophomore Maxwell Kays) and his high school ex-lover, Kari (played by sophomore Lexie Vega), try to reconnect and let go of past grudges.

When the production ended, the audience, many of whom were Allen students, were not only in awe of the ability of the actors but also left contemplating many questions, primarily the moral of the show which seems to be that people can’t change the past, no matter how desperately they try.

“When the play was over I couldn’t believe that it was the end; I was sitting on the edge of my seat the entire time,” Jada Dangerfield, freshman at ACC, said. “The actors did such a good job, and I don’t think they understood the impact it had on everyone watching.”

One of the many heart-wrenching moments that left the audience speechless, was when Peter sang a song for Kari. Kays (Peter) actually played the guitar and his incredible vocals came through in his song.

When asked about his performance, Kays said, “I felt very nervous but also quite calm. I’ve performed music in front of people before, but it was a new experience for me to be the center of attention in an entire theatre. I just rooted myself on the stage and felt the music.”

Kays’s portrayal of the moment was so realistic it was almost as if the audience was intruding on a personal and private moment and not enjoying a stage performance. When asked how Kays portrayed the character so well, he stated that the character resonated with him on an emotional level. Kays himself has been in the position of fighting desperately to change the outcome of things, but just like Peter, he had to come to terms with the fact that you cannot change the past.

Vega (Kari), matched Kays’ energy. During the ending scene, when Kari talks about her unhappy relationship with her husband, the entire theatre was silent enough to hear a pin drop. The moment was so emotionally gripping, Vega’s stellar performance left the crowd wanting more. Vega admitted she had a hard character to play because of Kari’s many battles throughout her life. Yet, Vega was able to portray Kari in a beautiful and respectful way by doing her best to understand why the character is the way that they are. Vega truly captured the deepest feelings of pain and hurt in the character and delivered the emotions to the audience through her performance.

“At first it was really difficult because I didn’t want to falsely portray someone who has gone through everything she had gone through,” Vega said. She then explained where her support came from. “Trevor is an amazing director though, and helped every single step of the way on connecting to my character.”

The Allen Theatre department is preparing more future productions; The Thanksgiving Play, Student Directed One Acts, and The Spitfire Grill. These productions are a great way to catch some young talent in these upcoming shows.