Romantic comedy’s plot highlights characters’ differences
Published: Monday, February 20, 2012
Updated: Monday, February 20, 2012 12:02
The Theatre Conservatory of Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts performed "The Life & Times of Tulsa Lovechild: A Road Trip" by Greg Owens last weekend at the Patrick O'Malley Theatre.
The romantic comedy follows the journey of Tulsa Lovechild, a 30-something academic whose hippie mother just passed away. She drives across the country to Tulsa, Okla. to deposit half of her mother's ashes at the highway near the hotel where Tulsa was born.
"[Associate Professor of Theatre] Sean Kelley decided he was interested in producing this script, and I fell in love with it," guest director Jaclynn Jutting said. "It suits my directing style."
The play's emphasis on the natural diversity humans have between each other comes through with plenty of romantic subplot between the most unlikely of characters. Tolerance and love are exhibited at their greatest potential as opposites attract, even through conflict and misunderstanding.
"I think Greg Owens would have us believe that our differences may be what unites us," Jutting wrote in the director's notes of the program. "That our strength lies in living the best version of our own unique selves rather than attempting to be carbon copies of someone else."
The set reflected the play's themes through use of mixed media, realistic and simplistic costume design, and the use of very few, yet versatile props.
"We have some maps and hotel wallpaper and the look of fields from the view of an airplane on the set," technical director Steve Kruse said.
These different elements were patterned in squares on the floor and walls of the stage, giving background to a large billboard, where scene titles and thematic images would display between scene changes.
Play rehearsals began at the beginning of January and were held five days each week. Sixteen CCPA students composed the cast, and 15-20 students, along with some faculty members, composed the crew.
"I've directed at other universities and around town, and I've been blown away by this program and the faculty here," Jutting said.
The performances were impeccable and emotional, entertaining while provoking deeper thought about the social issues brought to the table in the plot. The cast and crew brought the play's messages to life.