Local Girls” is the story of a girl named Diskit, and how her entire perception of interpersonal relationships changes when she meets Riley, head of a high school metal band in search of a new screamer. In turn, Riley finds more than meets the eye when she meets nerdy Diskit, who just so happens to produce an incredible scream naturally. Just in time for the Battle of the Bands! Find out about the journey from rehearsal to stage with some behind the scenes commentary from Professor Leonard Kelly, the director of “Local Girls.”
‘I kind of hope that [the audience] starts to think about what it is that lights up their world… and not be afraid to say [it].’
Sitting in Professor Kelly’s office, which is filled to the brim with all kinds of plays and theatrical memorabilia, the question came up that has been asked about plays for centuries: “Why are we doing this show now?” Kelly chuckled and leaned back in his chair. He said that we can answer that in a number of ways ranging from the content to the fact that it’s a new play written by an artist from the Philadelphia area.
Contemporary plays are not so new in the Department of Theatre and Dance at West Chester, as just last spring, Professor Kelly directed “Never Have I Ever,” a new play written by Jan Rosenberg in partnership with The Farm Theatre. Kelly, whose background is in classical work, relies on the production team and the actors themselves to piece together the colloquial narrative of “Local Girls.”
Another interesting challenge about “Local Girls” is that it involves heavy metal music. Sound designer Sean Kennedy has taught actor Taylor Mattes how to do “False Chord Screaming.” This is a technique that allows the artist to scream without damaging their vocal chords, and produces a massive, raw sound. Go see the show to hear the final result!
I asked the director, “What do you hope the audience takes away from this show?” Kelly replied, “I kind of hope that they start to think about what it is that lights up their world and to pursue that and to not be afraid to say, ‘This is the thing that lights me up.’ And we should be excited for other people pursuing a light that’s different from our own.”
“Local Girls” by Emma Goidel, directed by Leonard Kelly in the J. Peter Adler Studio Theatre, E.O. Bull Center for the Arts, plays March 1, 2, 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and the 2 and 3 at 2:00 p.m.. Tickets for students are $13 (with ID) as well as faculty, staff and veterans. All other tickets are $16.
Casey Parker is a fourth year student majoring in theatre performance with a minor in musical theatre. CP852912@wcupa.edu