“The Understudy” Performs at the MSU Black Box

Ever wonder what transpires backstage during a Broadway production?  Peek behind the curtain in Therese Rebeck’s comedic hit, “The Understudy,” presented by MSU’s School of Film and Photography at the Black Box Theatre, opening Feb. 17 and running Fridays and Saturdays until March 3.

Directed by MSU theatre and film professor Stephanie Campbell, “The Understudy” takes place behind the scenes during the Broadway run of a long-lost Kafka play.  The cast includes a star who doesn’t quite understand the play, a frustrated stage manager, a stoner set technician and the understudy, who is trapped in a thankless role amidst the chaos swirling around them.

“It’s a piece of theatre within theatre.  We find that the little man in the big design that’s happening in theatre and in fact life is being undercut and also alienated,” said Campbell.  Despite this, she describes it as a “comedic farce.”  “Rebeck’s comic scorn comments on the corruption of the theatre by the public and theatre’s obsession with celebrities.”

After acting and directing in serious shows, she is excited to direct a comedy, “The best thing I’ve experienced is that the three people I’ve cast have exceeded my expectations.  They are so committed and believable, and they make the show a joy.”

“It’s an MSU show, not just the School of Film and Photography.  I’m hoping that students of MSU come and support what we are doing in theatre,” she said.

The show stars MSU students Sarah Beagle, Steven Roth and Phil Taylor.

Doors open at 7:00 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30. Tickets for “The Understudy” are $10 for students and $12 for others, and are available in advance at First Interstate Bank in the SUB, Cactus Records downtown, the front desk of the Visual Communications Building at 11th and Grant streets, the Black Box reservation line at 994-3904 or at the door.