Texas State’s mainstage production of Arthur Miller’s classic drama A View from the Bridge premiered Oct. 6 in the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre.
The play, which runs through Oct. 11, is directed by Melissa Utley and features some of the university’s most talented actors.
A View from the Bridge first premiered on Broadway 60 years ago, and is frequently subject to productions from companies all over the United States.
The show tells the story of second-generation longshoreman Eddie Carbone and his family, whose simple household deals with a lot of emotional surprises. It is a classic story dealing with the topic of immigration, an important issue today’s society.
Under Utley’s direction, the actors perform effortless in an environment that is perhaps not even comprehensible to the average San Marcos college student. Their characters navigate through a lower-class lifestyle with an everyday struggle to make ends meet in 1950s Brooklyn, New York.
The cast stars Nick Ortiz, BFA acting senior, as the formidable Carbone in a performance for the books. The repressed anger and deep love that is Eddie’s unimaginable inner conflict make for an unstoppable performance.
The rest of the family consists of Beatrice, played by Jordan Puhala, musical theater senior, and Catherine, played by Laurel Toupal, theater freshman. As Eddie’s wife, Puhala encapsulates both the passion and repressed frustration that the woman has for her husband.
Beatrice has just the right amount of tragedy in her life, and we long for her to be free of this rut. Sadly, her light at the end of the tunnel becomes fainter as the play progresses.
As Catherine, Toupal has an undeniable spunk the audience can’t help but like. She is innocent—sometimes to the point of absurdity for a girl her age—but lovely all the same.
Michael Costello, department of theater and dance professor, plays Alfieri, a lawyer who acts as an objective third-party observer and narrator for the piece.
Costello showcases a deep remorse for the story and the people in it, and seems to have a troubling presence. He speaks in metaphors to cushion the blow as events unfold, setting an ominous mood that is perfect for the show.
The characters of the two cousins provide an interesting juxtaposition within the play. Chase Naylor, theater junior, and Gunner Bradley, theater sophomore, play Rodolpho and Marco respectively. Rodolpho has a more lighthearted presence, whereas Marco takes a more intimidating approach. Ultimately, this leads to the family’s undoing.
Naylor and Bradley not only showcase some decent Italian accents, but paint a vivid picture of the struggles their characters have faced.
The pieces of this theatrical puzzle could not fit together more perfectly. Each of the performers did a great job of making the audience root for them, and the set and lighting come together perfectly to create a flawless production.
Michelle Ney, department of theatre and dance professor, beautifully designed the set—a game board the actors seem to play around. It features a modern take on a classic look, and is perfect for this day and age.
The play’s lighting and sound design, done respectively by Evelyn Thomas, theatre senior, and Ryan Thornton, seemed to catapult the piece to an entirely new level.
The production continues to withstand the test of time, and this rendering was brilliant. It is fascinating to see college students taking on a work such as this and walking away so triumphantly.
The play was as beautiful as one could imagine, with impeccable direction and design beyond comprehension. Each actor and actress knew exactly how to convey their character’s emotional state in a way that left the audience speechless from beginning to end.
Don’t miss this one, Bobcats.