By Ashley Bowden
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
The only two actors in ‘The Last Five Years,” a musical opening Friday Sept. 28, in Elizabeth Hurth Coates Theatre, will remember the weeks of hard work it took to prepare them for opening night.
Having to work with only one other actor is “very different,” said Diego Fresquez, who plays Jamie Wellerstein, an aspiring writer, to Amanda Belscamper’s character, Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actress.
In order to keep each performance fresh and unique, Fresquez said he and Belscamper constantly change their “stimuli” by envisioning different images to respond to. This practice helps to ensure truthful reactions in their performances, he said.
Written by Jason Robert Brown, the musical is about a five-year relationship between the writer and actress, said the director, Mark Stringham, an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre Arts.
“The story is told going backward through time,” Stringham said. “We hadn’t done a musical in a few years, and we needed to pick something small to complement our larger (November) production of ‘Antigone.’ ”
Fresquez described what he had to do to prepare for his character.
“I analyzed the character, found out what made him tick,” Fresquez said. “I’d ask myself questions like: ‘What’s driving him forward? What does he want? What are his strengths and flaws?’ ”
Fresquez also described the unique experience of working in a two-person cast.
“It’s very different,” he said. “With a big cast you tend to focus more on the general picture as a whole, but with us we were really able to get a sense of the characters themselves. It’s much more intimate.”
Admission to “The Last Five Years” is free with ID for University of the Incarnate Word students, faculty and staff.
Otherwise, admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 for non-students, and $6 for groups of 10 or more people.
Other shows will be at 8 p.m. Sept. 29, Oct. 5-6 and Oct. 12-13.
For more information, call the box office at (210) 829-3800 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Courtesy of UIWTV
Reporter: Natalie Perez