LEC Department of Theatre presents an original short play “To have done with…”

On February 24 through 27 the Theatre Department at Lake Erie College will present an original play exploring movement, poetry and ritual called “To have done with…” It is produced and directed by Professor of Theatre Dr. Jerry Jaffe, who produced, directed and taught this style of theatre during the years he lived and taught in New Zealand. In addition to four live performances, there will be a live stream version presented opening night, February 24.

According to Professor Jaffe, the cast and crew are creating the piece by doing different theatre games and acting exercises. Then, as the creative team discovers interesting moments, they are slowly assembled in a style similar to montage. The cast actively participates in crafting their work into a coherent piece of performance art. “Exploring movement and poetry” Jaffe said, “opens a world of theatrical possibilities different from what most people are used to thinking of as theatre.” A few years ago, Jaffe published an article on staging these types of plays in the literary journal Karawane.

The title comes from one of the poems the team is using, “To have done with the Judgement of God” by French playwright Antonin Artaud. Active in the 1920s, Artaud has proven to be very influential in avant-garde theatre circles. Artaud was a proponent of ritual, movement, music, and of creating sensual experiences that moved the audience. “Another break from usual theatre practices,” Jaffe explained, “is that we are not performing in the theatre. Instead, we will be out on campus doing the show in different locations each night.”

The rehearsals and the performances are being staged in accordance with all Covid guidelines currently in place with both the State of Ohio and Lake Erie College. Social distancing and mask wearing are all part of the rehearsal process. Audience size will be capped to twenty attendees per show and audience members are expected to remain masked during the show. This short play has a run time of approximately 15 minutes.

The cast of “To have done with…” includes Gavin Sills ’23 and community actor Abigail Marie. Marie recently played the role of Mistress Ford in Lake Erie College’s production of Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. LEC student Sills said, “After taking Professor Jaffe’s Intro to Theatre class last fall, I really wanted to try being in a play.” Set and lights are by long-time collaborator LEC alum Julie Harter ‘07.

This live performance as well as the live stream will be presented at no charge, although the Theatre Department accepts donations. Performance dates are February 24-26 at 7:30 with a matinee February 27 at 2:00. Any other questions can be directed to Professor Jaffe at 440-375-7451. Tickets are available through the College’s On the Stage ticketing web portal: https://our.show/lake-erie-college/tohavedonewith