In a theater production it’s up to everyone to create harmony for a better show. The actors, director and producer are working together to bring Clark’s fall play, “A View From The Bridge,” to life this November.
The story takes place in post-World War II New York and follows Eddie Carbone, played by Zak Campbell, and his wife, who are both children of Italian immigrants. They are raising their niece, Catharine, played by Sammy Williams.
Undocumented Italian immigrants move into their home and one of them ends up falling in love with Catharine. Eddie does not approve of the attraction between his niece and the immigrant, Rodolpho.
The play is directed by stage manager and former drama instructor Mark Owsley and produced by professor Gene Biby.
Biby said he was searching for social justice-focused plays and decided on “A View From the Bridge” because the playwright, Arthur Miller, who Biby is a fan of, is able to appropriately address the layers of the show — family dynamic, immigration and love.
“I wanted something people could relate to,” Biby said.
According to Biby, the theater produces two plays and one musical every year. Usually, Owsley does the fall or spring play while Biby does the musical.
Campbell and Williams both said they enjoyed playing characters with such broad ranges of emotion.
Williams graduated from Mountain View High School where she was cast in minor roles. Now in her first quarter at Clark she was cast in her first major role.
“I was starting to doubt myself,” Williams said. “Getting this role boosted my confidence.”
Biby said Williams is in two of his classes and that he’s excited to have a newcomer in the program.
During rehearsals Williams said she embodies her character and starts thinking “I would do this” rather than “my character would do this.”
Despite the grim subject matter she said the cast and crew intently keep a light mood to combat the show’s intensity. “We’re like a huge family,” Williams said.
Campbell said his character deals with the dilemma of wanting to be a protective father figure while not really being Catharine’s father.
“Not everything is as it seems with Eddie,” he said.
Campbell, whose first Clark production was in 2006, graduated in 2014 and received a Bachelor’s from Washington State University. He then received a Masters in Acting from the Birmingham School of Acting in England.
Although not a student anymore, theater productions are open to the Clark community and Biby said he’s happy that Campbell is back with Clark.
Campbell said the cast has been working hard and is eager to take his acting advice when they ask for it. He also described Owsley and Biby as “amazing directors” and said the cast can learn from them. The sentiment is shared with Biby who said directors work to create a community with the actors which help the play be of better quality.
Campbell said he loves Clark and it’s theater program. “I want to give back as much as I possibly can,” he said.