Southern Utah University’s student-run theatre group, Second Studio, opens the last production of their 2021-22 season, “Nunsense,” in the Black Box Theatre on Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. with additional performances April 1 and 2 and a matinee performance on Saturday, April 2, at 2 p.m.
Following Thursday’s opening night performance, Second Studio invites audience members to their opening night gala which will be a ‘50s Soda-Shop theme. The gala will take place in the Auditorium lobby.
“Nunsense” is a comedy musical about a group of religious sisters and their reverend mother putting on a show to fundraise for the burial of four of their sisters after tragedy strikes the convent. The musical is directed by Ali Damavandi.
“It’s unlike anything probably anyone will ever see,” said Avery Peterson who plays Sister Mary Hubert. “It’s kind of refreshing and it’s a good way to get a laugh in.”
Like all Second Studio productions, the cast and crew are SUU students. SUU Professor Peter Sham served as faculty advisor for the production but other than Sham’s input, the show is entirely put together by students.
“When we started rehearsals this semester, it was a little difficult because we’re peers,” said Damavandi. “It’s hard to have the authority to be able to feel like you can direct or tell other people what to do.”
The production’s stage manager, Alyssa Garcia, had similar concerns about having authority over peers.
“Even though it is intimidating, it’s also nice because a lot of the designers and actors are my friends,” said Garcia. “I’m able to communicate with them.”
Despite Damavandi’s initial concerns about working as a director for her fellow students, the cast of the show sang her praises.
“Because it’s a comedy, we get to do our own thing,” said reverend mother actress Dean Rice. “It’s been really nice to get close with all of [the cast]. [Damavandi has] been letting us develop these characters and make them funny, not just telling us how to be funny.”
The freedom has allowed the cast to have the experience of putting a unique production together.
“It’s been fun to see [the cast] discover things, learn from each other and play around in the space,” said Music Director Jett Larson. “Instead of just learning, we get to play as well.”
The cast and crew also feel that since this semester has been hectic for so many people, “Nunsense” provides a welcome reprieve from the stress of being a college student.
“There’s no deep message,” said Larson. “it’s just a cute, fun, entertaining show and you’re going to leave wanting to hum all the tunes.”
Tickets for “Nunsense” can be purchased before the show at the Auditorium ticket office for $5.
Article by: Tessa Cheshire
Photos courtesy of Jett Larson