The only CSU theatre event I’ve gone to before this weekend was a black box show of “The Girl Who Kills Monsters.” Last Friday, November 9th, however, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a showing of CSU’s new production, “Violet.” I had done absolutely no research about the premise or the previous productions of this play before seeing it on Friday, so that I would be able to have a fresh experience. Even though I was nervous about finding the theatre, and going to the performance alone, I had a wonderful time and I’m definitely planning on going again before the 18th.
When I set out to see “Violet” at 7:30pm on November 9th, I had no idea what to expect. I like to make it a habit not to look up other reviews or details about the show I’m going to, so that I don’t unintentionally recycle someone else’s opinions. After showing up and waiting for about 30 minutes to be seated, the crowd of attendees was ushered into the theatre and seating was up to the choice of each individual guest. First stepping into the room, the set felt lonely and bare—one isolated chair sat in the middle of the stage, with a backdrop that featured distant mountains and a road map of the Southern states on the floor. There was also a section of chairs for the small group of instrumentalists at the far left of the stage. The audience filled up very quickly, starting out with only about a dozen or so people and ending up with a full house that night. Anticipation for the show was high.
Directed by Holly Holsinger and based on “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts, “Violet” is the story of a young woman from North Carolina. Violet suffered from an accident that occurred during her childhood, which left her with a distinct and ugly scar in the middle of her face. On her way to find a cure for her ugliness through religion, she befriends a couple of soldiers that become entangled in her journey and feelings. The soldiers, Flick and Monty, steal the show in more than a few scenes.
All of the actors and actresses did a fantastic job of making the story and set come to life. The three leads, Flick, Monty, and Violet, were the shining stars throughout the musical of course—each of their voices during their respective songs were jaw–dropping and amazing. I had no idea that this would be a musical before attending, but I was delighted when they initially began singing. Musicals are the best, in my opinion, and this one was no exception. There were moments throughout the play where I thought, “I wish this was something I could find on Spotify and listen to later.” Rebekah Ferro, who played Violet, was one of the talents that stood out the most that night. Anthony “X” Brown, who was Flick, also stole the show with his vocals.
“Violet” is being shown at the Helen Theatre from November 8th to the 18th. Tickets for students are only $5, so there really isn’t a reason not to go. I’ve only seen a few of the productions put on by the CSU Department of Theatre and Dance, but each experience was delightful in its entirety. I cannot recommend CSU’s production of “Violet” enough. Go see it before it’s too late. More information about the show can be found at csuohio.edu/theatre.