Collaboration & “Collected Stories

Jessica Vogt

The final production of Melissa Law’s senior project, Donald Marguiles’ “Collected Stories,” went out in a gentle but powerful performance Saturday evening.
The two-woman play, featuring senior Melissa Law and 2003 graduate Anneliese DeDiemar, examined the changing friendship between a seasoned author (DeDiemar) and her graduate student assistant and devotee (Law). It was a simple, quiet production lending itself to the expression of personalities and the examination of a relationship, rather than the complexities of a storyline. However, the lack of intricate plot did not weaken the strength of the production. Law and DeDiemar were exquisite on stage, playing strong female characters with intense emotions, and captivating the audience with their every word.
“I thought it would be a real challenge to do a two-person play,” said Law, when asked why she chose such a work for her senior project. The universal relationship between the characters is one to which anyone can relate, she continues. “The playwright is truly amazing.”
Law handpicked all her fellow collaborators in this production including fellow actor DeDiemar, director Rebecca Herman, stage managers Julie Silver and Megan Flod, set designer Arthur Frielund, costumer Daniella Cartun, and set decorator Jeni Klenke.
“I picked people because I enjoyed working with them before,” Law said. She said she picked Herman as the director because she exhibited “such a calm ease when it came to directing, which is something that the show really flourished on.” The show inevitably flourished with a combined effort of all the students involved.
“Theatre is a collaborative art form,” theatre arts professor Rich Frielund commented. “Working with others is of the essence in reaching your goal with any theatrical production.” He went on to congratulate Law and her colleagues for their hard work and dedication to the integrity of the production.
“We had a great time with this show, because everyone working on it had a similar and grand sense of humor,” stage manager Julie Silver said. “Melissa Law and I have known each other for a very, very long time,” she continued. “It’s been really cool to work with her again. She is multi-talented.”
Nevertheless, talent and collaboration mean nothing in a theatrical production without the necessary rehearsal time and behind-the-scenes work. “We had all of our rehearsals before winter break,” said Silver. “Then there was winter break, and production week started Monday.” It speaks to the talent and effort of the cast and crew that they were able to pull everything together on time, despite crewmembers’ late arrivals back from break due to flight delays.
“This was one of the best theater experiences I have had because of the collaboration on everyone’s part.” said Law.