The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South thespians stage Orwell’s classic Animal Farm

By Tristan Evans/south news editor

In April, the South Campus theater program will bring George Orwell’s classic novel Animal Farm to the stage.

South student Larry Carney sits among the cast of Animal Farm. The production of George Orwell’s classic fable will run April 14-16 in the Joe B. Rushing Performing Arts Center.
Andy Bonilla/The Collegian

On the surface, the play tells the story of the animals of Manor Farm who, after rebelling against their neglectful master Mr. Jones, take over the farm. Soon, some of them become just as bad if not worse than Mr. Jones.

The story, however, has deeper meanings and messages within it. Manor Farm itself represents socialism, and characters like Napoleon and Snowball are allegories of Joseph Stalin and Leon Trotsky, respectively.

One of the most prominent themes of Animal Farm is how absolute power corrupts absolutely.

“It’s one of those types of pieces that has a lot of playfulness to it and also a lot of seriousness to it,” said adjunct drama instructor Richard Haratine, who is directing the play.

Haratine said those two lively elements will help to make for a powerful story.

“You have [these] cartoonish-type characters that are also representing very serious and important ideas [concerning] people living on Planet Earth,” he said.

Amanda Krueger, who last performed with the South theater group in 2007, portrays the pig Snowball in the play.

“I [enjoyed] reading this book in the ninth grade,” she said. “So I thought it was an interesting choice.”

Krueger said she hopes the message audience members get from the story is to think for themselves.

David Nix, who portrays the pig Napoleon, has previously worked on the production side of the theater. This will be one of his first times on stage in a leading role. His love of Orwell’s work made him audition for this play.

“I like the relevance of it,” he said. “The story keeps mattering.”

Nix said while his dominating personality lends itself to playing Napoleon, he isn’t as cruel as the character.

He hopes the audience gets the longevity of the story’s message that totalitarianism should constantly be rejected and tyranny should never be accepted.

Dexter Chimilio, who like Nix, has worked in both production and acting, said his character Moses the Raven is energetic and likes to lighten the mood, a trait they both share.

“Right now, I’m trying to get used to the character’s voice,” he said. “He speaks a lot, and sometimes I start to lose my breath because I haven’t practiced my vocal warm-ups beforehand.”

This is Brionna Adams’ second play with South. She has acted since she was in high school and enjoys playing the character Clover because of their similarities.

She said the curious but cautious nature of the character makes it easy for her to portray.

“Clover’s the one who’s like, ‘I want to ask questions. I want to see what’s going on, but yet I don’t want to tick anybody off,’” she said. “I’m more or less the same.”

She wants the audience to learn not to fall for anything like some of the animals in the story.

Caitlin Reed, who portrays the pig Squealer, said at this point, she hasn’t had any difficulties portraying her character.  She hopes she isn’t anything like her character.

“Squealer’s kind of a dictating, mean, rude kind of pig. I’m not like that,” she said.

Haratine has worked with many of the actors before and believes they are having fun.

“I think they are pretty good at listening to each other on stage and actually working together as a team,” he said.

Haratine said that type of camaraderie was needed with a play that features an ensemble cast.

Haratine hopes the audience will leave the play with a better understanding of human nature.

“We attempt to instill values in people and do the right thing as best as we can, but we’re not perfect and we make mistakes,” he said.

Animal Farm will run April 14-16 in the Joe B. Rushing Performing Arts Center. Shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 for general admission, $3 for non-TCC students and seniors and free for TCC students, faculty and staff.

Reservations are not required. No one will be seated late.

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