The Theater program will kick off its 2018 – 2019 season with evening performances of their gripping fall play, The Clean House, on Nov. 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17 at Decker Theater in the Frost Arts Center.
Written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Stage Manager Mark Owsley, the comedy about death, redemption and love across cultures will feature five members of Clark’s theater program.
Owsley, who has been with Clark for over 30 years, said he immediately fell in love with the script in a way he hasn’t in a long time. When Program Director Gene Biby suggested it, Owsley said he couldn’t put it down.
Owsley said he believes the play is so compelling because of the strong female characters.
“They all have different qualities and go through changes that tore me up,” he said. Owsley said he casts actors who are just as individually dynamic as the characters themselves. The show features Latin music and dancing to match the Latinx characters from different countries.
Danielle Neblock plays Matilde, a Brazilian woman who comes to the United States as a maid, but hates cleaning and wants to be a comedian. Kyle Reese plays Doctor Charles, who hired Matilde to clean his home, where he lives with his wife Lane, played by Becky Morin, and Lane’s sister Virginia, played by Amy Baldwin.
Degundrea Harris, an administrative assistant in the office of the Vice President of Student Affairs, plays the character Ana, an Argentinian cancer patient who falls into the lives of Charles, Lane, Matilde and Virginia, forever changing each person and their relationships with each other.
While Owsley usually serves as the stage manager for plays, he said being director allows him to bring the characters to life in his own vision. “The vision for this show hit me like a ton of bricks,” he said.
Owsley said the goal of the show isn’t to sell tickets, but to bring students in so they can learn something about the people around them. He said about the show, “There’s just a warmth to it that’s beautiful.”