The Community College of Rhode Island Players’ production of “The Receptionist,” an office comedy with a dark side and a timely message, is in the running to compete for national honors. The students were selected to restage their play in the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region 1 competition; beating out shows performed all over New England and New York.
They will perform in Hyannis, Mass., on Jan. 31 for a chance to go on to the KCACTF National Festival. Before they leave, they will stage two special performances of “The Receptionist” at CCRI’s Flanagan Campus in Lincoln at 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26. Admission costs $10 and will help fund the students’ trip to the festival.
“This is as if CCRI is in the Sweet 16 looking to go to the Final Four,” said CCRI Assistant Professor Luke Sutherland, who directed the play.
Sutherland said that only five shows of about 60 that were in the running were picked to go to the Regional Festival in Hyannis. CCRI has not had this honor in about 20 years, he said, although individual actors and actresses have been honored for their work more recently.
The Jan. 26 performance at CCRI will serve both as an encore for the CCRI community and a chance to rehearse the stringent demands of the theater festival. In Hyannis, the students will have five hours to load in all of their equipment, set up the stage, don their costumes and makeup, perform the play and leave no trace of it to make room for the next production. The CCRI show will serve as a dry run and their one chance to simulate these conditions.
For the first time in CCRI Theatre program history, three of four major design elements were created by student designers in the Associate of Fine Arts technical track under the mentorship of Sutherland. Scenic design is provided by Branigan Duguay of Warwick, lighting design by Laura Ducharm of Woonsocket and sound design by Kaisey Caputo of Johnston. Makeup is by Krystal Terilli of West Warwick. Professor Jeffery Butterworth designed costumes.