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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Musical Nunsense runs amok in SE’s Roberson Theatre

Cast members of the SE Campus production of Nunsense run through a rehearsal before opening night Friday. From left, Meagan Phillips, Sheldon Berry, Stephanie Henry, Ryan Davila and Erika Kae prepare for the Little Sisters of Hobokens fundraiser variety show.  Photo by Renee Williams/The Collegian
Cast members of the SE Campus production of Nunsense run through a rehearsal before opening night Friday. From left, Meagan Phillips, Sheldon Berry, Stephanie Henry, Ryan Davila and Erika Kae prepare for the Little Sisters of Hoboken’s fundraiser variety show. Photo by Renee Williams/The Collegian

By Mark Bauer/editor-in-chief

Cast members of the SE Campus production of Nunsense run through a rehearsal before opening night Friday. From left, Meagan Phillips, Sheldon Berry, Stephanie Henry, Ryan Davila and Erika Kae prepare for the Little Sisters of Hoboken's fundraiser variety show.  Photo by Renee Williams/The Collegian
Cast members of the SE Campus production of Nunsense run through a rehearsal before opening night Friday. From left, Meagan Phillips, Sheldon Berry, Stephanie Henry, Ryan Davila and Erika Kae prepare for the Little Sisters of Hoboken’s fundraiser variety show. Photo by Renee Williams/The Collegian

Trying to stifle her laughter so as not to affect the other actresses on stage, Heather Trietley, who plays Mother Superior in the SE Campus rendition of Nunsense the Mega-Musical, buries her face in her hands.

But the muffled sounds being emitted are too much for fellow student and actress Meagan Phillips—Reverend Sister Hubert—and she is unable to go on with her lines.

Soon, the entire stage is erupting in laughter.

Director Pert Durapau, associate professor of speech and drama on SE Campus, refocuses her cast, and they move on to another take of the scene.

But after an exchange of only a few lines, it results in more of the same gut-wrenching laughter.

It is only a rehearsal, but instead of disciplining her staff for what might appear to be lack of focus or un-professionalism—Durapau praises them.

The chemistry between the cast members is exactly what Durapau had in mind when she originally chose the musical and presented the idea to students in February. 

“I felt we had some very strong individual performers, but also ones who could work well together,” Durapau said. “They wonderfully complement one another.”

The musical comedy, originally written by Dan Goggin, follows the missteps of Sister Julia (Child of God), played by Stephanie Henry, who accidentally kills off half the convent with foul food.

Unable to pay for the deceased sisters’ burials, they are instead put into the convent’s freezer. But when the health inspector calls—the sisters decide to put on a play so as to come up with burial funds, or otherwise face jail time.

Despite the humorous and quirky tone of the musical, Trietley believes there is an underlying message that the audience might pick up on: teamwork.

“As fun as it is,” she said, “we know that we have to raise money to get nuns out of the freezer. We have to work together to get them out.”

Henry said the original reaction to the play might be, “Ugh, a story about nuns?” But there is a twist, she said.

“Not only are they telling their story as nuns, but they are also dancers and they are singers,” she said. “People don’t think nuns get down like that, but we do.”

Phillips said the light-hearted atmosphere helps make the work less stressful.

“It keeps us laughing and keeps me wanting to come back,” she said.

The drama department will utilize the religious convent setting by dressing everyone—from the ushers to the band members—in religious attire.

Ultimately, Durapau said she is pleased with the effort that has been put into the production.

“This group has been a privilege to work with,” she said, “and I anticipate a strong performance.”

The show runs in the Roberson Theatre 8-10 p.m. Friday, April 18; Saturday, April 19; Thursday, April 24; Friday, April 25; and Saturday, April 26.

Matinee times are 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 19, and Friday, April 25.

Nunsense the Mega-Musical
SE Campus
Showtimes: Friday-Saturday, April 18-19; Thursday-Saturday, April 24-26; 8-10 p.m. Matinees Saturday, April 19, and Friday, April 25, 2 p.m.
Box Office: 817-515-3599
General Admission: $6
Non-TCC Students/Seniors: $3
TCC Students, Faculty, Staff: Free

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