Morality is explored through ‘clever and original’ production of The Good Person of Setzuan

The Good Person of Setzuan gave audiences detailed and moving performances during its run from Oct. 25 to Oct. 29. It featured original music by senior musical theater major Nick Ziobro and lighting projections by sophomore technical theater major Miranda Kelley.

By Sage E. Spitz 

The Good Person of Setzuan, a play that explores ethics as taught by the gods in China, was brought to the Bart Luedeke Center stage on Oct. 28.

Louis F. Goldberg directed this Bertolt Brecht play, with original music written by senior musical theater major Nick Ziobro.

The play follows a young woman, Shen Te, as she comes to the aid of many individuals in the community. However, her kind nature is taken advantage of, leading her to create a more resilient, male alter ego, Shui Ta.

In reaction to the performance, sophomore musical theater major Ryan Lloyd said, “I felt the production was very well-done and very detailed. Everyone had great relationships on stage, and I felt a connection to it because there is obviously joy coming from the actors on stage.”

The production featured several monologues from the leading character, Shen Te, played by senior musical theater major Mariah Lotz.

Freshman theater performance major Grace Ferrera commended Lotz’s acting abilities, saying, “It was so impressive, and she was never out of character. She was in it every single time whether she was playing the guy — Shui Ta — or herself. She was invested in it and I loved that.”

The set was also something that impressed the audience.

It displayed the exterior of a small building, which was then opened using a handle on the side of the structure. The interior of the building was revealed to be a tobacco shop, including cabinets, counters and chairs.

“I liked how the set just opened,” Ferrera said. “That was definitely my favorite part. [The tobacco shop] could’ve been just a little stand on the side, but when she opened it, it became this whole big thing.”

Lloyd compared the set to that of a storybook, saying how impressed he was with the projections by sophomore technical theater major Miranda Kelley, which featured abstract collages of various images that accompanied the plot of the play.

Ziobro was responsible for creating the music to accompany the production.

Lloyd described the music in the production as “fantastic, clever and original,” adding that it moved the story forward and enhanced the production.

“I love musical theater just because I think music through acting is a different kind of storytelling that’s so beautiful,” Ferrera said.

Although the production was three hours long, the cast was able to retain the interest of the audience. Ferrera said, “I think I was really nervous because I have a hard time understanding early English and following the story. I was thinking, ‘Oh my god, I’m going to be sitting here for three hours and have no idea what’s happening,’ but I totally understood everything. That was really important to me.”

Overall, The Good Person of Setzuan was able to captivate the audience and inspire those in the theater.

“One of the reasons why I go to this school is because I enjoy the work that we produce here and the talent that we have,” Lloyd said. “The people are wonderful [and] great to work with.”

Printed in the 11/01/17 edition.

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