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The Rising Class: The Hanslick Girls on the Wirtz Center’s Fuente Ovejuna

—Originally published May 4, 2017—

Meet the Hanslick Girls: Gwen, Eleanor and Dania. Created by writer Zach Barr, they are a trio of Northwestern students who always go to see plays together. They may not have the same opinions, but their conversations tend to make for an entertaining read. Recently, the Girls saw “Fuente Ovejuna,” Susan E. Bowen and Kori Alston’s new adaptation of Lope de Vega’s 17th century play. Let’s hear what they had to say on their way back from the theater…

 

“I don’t know who any of those actors were,” Eleanor said as she walked into the dark outside the Barber Theatre.

Gwen followed close behind, through the revolving door. “A lot of them are new,” Gwen said. “It’s an MFA thing, where the directors cast a lot of new performers in their shows. It happened with Agamemnon back in January, remember?”

“I suppose,” Eleanor said. “I mean, the lead guy, the evil one, he’s been in things before, right?”

“Gómez? Or the romantic interest for Laurencia?”

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Cast Off Idols: The Wirtz Center’s “Agamemnon”

—Originally published February 6, 2017—

Meet the Hanslick Girls: Gwen, Eleanor and Dania. Created by writer Zach Barr, they are a trio of Northwestern students who always go to see plays together. They may not have the same opinions, but their conversations tend to make for an entertaining read. Recently, the Girls saw the Wirtz Center’s stage premiere of Simon Scardifield’s “Agamemnon” adaptation. Let’s hear what they had to say on their way back from the theater…

 

As the lights slowly rose in the Josephine Louis Theatre, Gwen stared hard at the location on the ground where the naked, bleeding Sean Gundersen had laid not twenty seconds earlier, and which was now vacant. The darkness of the final blackout had seemed so sudden, and so total, that she had been unable to trace if any actors stayed onstage during the blackout, or whether Gundersen had been whisked offstage to don the requisite robe for modesty during his bow.

The lights finally reached the level they had begun at, dimly illuminating the clouds of fog and haze floating in from the stage’s exposed wings. Not an actor was in sight. Gwen raised an eyebrow. She had basically understood the play’s ending, even if the pace had dropped slightly after Cassandra’s death, and in tying it to the overall message she was gleaning from it…

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Dreaming Through Smoke: The Wirtz Center’s “The Great Gatsby”

—Originally published October 31, 2016—

Meet the Hanslick Girls: Gwen, Eleanor, and Dania. Created by writer Zach Barr, they are a trio of Northwestern students who always go to see plays together. They may not have the same opinions, but their conversations tend to make for an entertaining read. Recently, the Girls saw “The Great Gatsby,” the opening production of the Wirtz Center’s 2016/2017 season. Let’s hear what they had to say on their way back from the theater…

 

“‘The Great Gatsby’ is really weird.”

This was the first thing Gwen had said since leaving the theatre. Eleanor and Dania had made some comfortable small talk with a friend in the lobby, but they hadn’t discussed the production right away. Now, having walked approximately the requisite 100 feet from the theatre, Gwen’s voice rang out.

“I mean the book, not this stage version.”

“Well,” said Eleanor, trying to gauge where Gwen was headed, “I also thought this version was pretty weird.”

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