Students reflect on ‘Kodachrome,’ other works before annual Texas Thespians convention

Cast to compete at Gaylord Hotel for advancement to Nationals

Reopening the Blackbox doors for the first time in two years, the Theatre Department’s fall play, “Kodachrome,” by Adam Szymkowicz has brought people back together through the arts. Now, students will attend the annual Texas Thespians festival at the Gaylord Hotel, Nov. 17-20, and compete to advance to nationals.

The production of “Kodachrome,” which ran from Oct. 14-16, covered topics of love, loss and heartbreak. Nine total actors and actresses built the cast. These actors, and others, also put on “The Lion King Jr.” which ran from Nov. 4-6.

Students from both fall productions, ‘The Lion King Jr.,” and “Kodachrome,” will attend. Competitions include a group musical, a solo musical, group acting, a monologue, dance, costume design, stage management, lighting, scenic design and more.

Capturing the audience from her point of view, the Photographer, played by junior actress Seun Seriki, showcases her pictures on a screen. “Kodachrome” marked Seriki’s first major role and first role in the department. The Photographer narrated the play. Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.

While sitting and discussing his possible divorce, the History Professor, who is played by freshman Nixon Rigoni, looks downstage. “Kodachrome” marked Rigoni’s first production in the department. The History Professor was married to the Mystery Novelist, played by senior actress Marlee Parrish, in the show. “The Mystery Novelist has this sweet sarcasm to her, you can feel her attitude in the subtlest way,” Parrish said. “She’s very confident, but her marriage was the thing that humbled her, which is why I think they were made for each other.” Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.

Creating a new scent, the Perfume Maker, played by junior Tate Lauby, uses test tubes for a new invention. Lauby also took on the role of one of the two EMT’s in the production. “I played the Perfume Maker,” Lauby said. “He was pretty rude to the Florist, and was always causing some chaos. I loved playing an ‘antagonist’ in a way, and I’m so excited for my next endeavor.” Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.

Taking a sip from his coffee mug, the Police Officer, played by junior Cooper Smith, questions the audience. “Kodachrome” had three showings from Oct. 14-16. “The second character I played was the Policeman,” Smith said. “Man, the Policeman, he’s just comedic relief. I love that character so much. He would go into the diner, and eat and would flirt with the Waitress. They end up getting together after you see them together a second time. That is really the main point of his character. It is a nice light story line thrown into the mix of it all.” Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.

Bouquet in hand, the Florist, played by senior Marlee Parrish, looks down, lost in thought. Parrish also played the Mystery Novelist in the play. “The Florist was definitely a challenge for me, because her compassion was her greatest strength, but also her greatest downfall,” Parrish said. “She loved so deeply that it consumed her. She didn’t see the rest.” Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.

The Gravedigger and the Photographer, played by sophomore Titus Boyd and junior Seun Seriki, say their goodbyes during the second half of the show. Most of the cast members played more than one character. “The Gravedigger was a particularly interesting role, because he’s the only one who can see the Photographer after she died,” Boyd said. “Also, the character is neurodivergent, so it was challenging, but also exciting learning how to play that character in an interesting way.” Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.

Sipping his coffee, the Perfume Maker, played by junior Tate Lauby, holds a perfume bottle that he created for the Waitress, freshman Trinity Kelley. “Kodachrome” marked Kelley’s first production in the department. “I really liked getting to work with such a tight-knit cast,” junior actor Cooper Smith said. “It was a lot of fun to get to know the crew and cast members that I did not know very well going in. I loved getting to tell this story with everyone, and Mr. Kulmann did a great job directing it.” Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.

Illuminated by light, the Librarian, played by junior Madeleine Wentz, speaks to a grave. Wentz also serves as one of the officers in the Theatre Department. “My favorite scene as the Librarian is her going to the grave of the Photographer and asking permission if she can date her husband,” Wentz said. “She was like ‘I don’t know, it just feels weird.’ I love that about her, because she is very kind, but she is also very anxious and nervous. She also does not really know what her direction in life holds for her. She figures it out. She finds it, and she uses that bit of courage that she has to take that step. I’m really happy that she gets her happy ending.” Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.

Under the disco ball, junior Cooper Smith and Seun Seriki, who played the Hardware Store Owner and the Photographer, dance in sync. As the Photographer says her final goodbyes, the Hardware Store Owner begs her to stay. “The Hardware Store Owner is a main focal point as far as the story line goes, especially with the main character, the Photographer,” Smith said. “Since the Photographer died, he has been by himself, trying to figure out how to live life without her, while also running into his old high school sweetheart. They end up rekindling, and it becomes a big decision for him to make, if that is what he should do or not. They end up finding each other by the end of the show, which is really sweet.” Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.

The Young Woman and the Young Man, played by freshman Sophia Gomez and sophomore Titus Boyd, discuss calling off their engagement near the end of the show. This scene of the couple mirrors another during the first act in the production. Boyd also holds a spot on the Prosper Improv team, which will have its first-ever show Dec. 9. “I tried to play the two characters differently from each other,” Boyd said. “Even though they are both nervous and anxious when it comes to love,  the Young Man is more open and extraverted than the Gravedigger.” Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.

Hand in hand, the librarian, junior Madeleine Wentz, and the Hardware Store Owner,  junior Cooper Smith, reconnect at the end of the show. “The Librarian is high school sweethearts with the Hardware Store Owner, who was the husband of the Photographer, our main character,” Wentz said. “There was love triangle going on between them. You find out that they both still have feelings for each other, and the Photographer wants her husband to be with the Librarian because she knows that will make him happy. She wants him to be happy, because she feels like she can’t move on to the next life without that.” Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.

Ending the show with her final monologue, the Photographer, played by junior Seun Seriki, leaves her camera on the ground. The show closed into a blackout with the final words, ‘I have loved.’ Before the final night of the show, director Christoper Kulmann told the cast, “Always make them laugh. Always make them cry. Take the stage like it’s the last time of your life.” Photo and caption by Cate Emma Warren.