TDAA to open ‘Cloud 9’ as a rep show

The Department of Theatre, Dance, and Arts Administration will be opening its first mainstage of the spring semester on Wednesday, March 8. “Cloud 9” by Caryl Churchill will perform in the Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre on March 8, 10, 11 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. with a matinee performance on March 18 at 2:00 p.m. It is free to SUU students with a valid I.D.

“Cloud 9” is a play that splits its two acts to take place in colonial Africa in the Victorian period and London in 1979, following a family and those they encounter in both of these eras.

“‘Cloud 9’ is about, in my view, how the patriarchy and all of its rules are imposed upon us, and then act two is about how we break out of that or try to break out of that,” said director Lisa Quoresimo.

Something about “Cloud 9” that sets it apart from other shows is the role gender plays in the show. The play is intended to be performed with actors playing different characters in the first and second act, with some of these characters being a different gender than the actor playing them.

“Gender is very played around with to show how unimportant or not black and white it is,” said Tanner Strong, who plays Harry and Gerry, two characters that explore the concept of sexuality throughout the show.

“Cloud 9” also features original music written and music directed by Quoresimo.

“The play comes with lyrics printed, but you don’t get any music with it, so I needed to come up with my own,” said Quoresimo. “I keep it mostly within the world. The first act is in Victorian times, and so I keep it within that world of music, and then in the second act we’re in 1979, so I created a 1970s-style ballad.”

The show is centered around the ideas of sexuality and gender, as well as where lines are drawn within the two, and contains heavy amounts of explicit material.

“There are some things being said about humanity and about people under that humor and under that raunchiness that can ring really true with people,” said Eliza Rose Greiner, who plays Ellen, Mrs. Saunders and Lin. “There’s so much struggle with identity and with the ideas that underlie the society that we live in that all of us struggle with on the daily.”

“Cloud 9” will be running in rep with another TDAA show, “Bulrusher,” meaning that people can come see one show one night and another show the next night. Despite sharing a performance space, the shows have had largely separate rehearsal processes.

Article by: Tessa Cheshire
Photos by Bria Hansen