- By Tishya Robertson, Staff Writer -
Meredith College Theatre just closed Marie Antoinette, an award-winning play by David Adjmi. During its run from April 17 to 22, students and affiliates of Meredith both entertained and educated the public on the life of the former Queen of France.
The staging is unique; although there is still the usual rectangular space reserved for actors, the stage extends into a runway with a mirror at the opposite end, adding to the drama of the story and emphasizing the boastful nature of royals like Marie.
Marie Antoinette is played by junior Allie Sullivan. Sullivan’s raw emotion throughout the play captivates the audience, and the occasional light-hearted banter provides some comedic relief. From her struggles to have a child with her husband, King Louis XVI to her execution by guillotine at the age of 37, Sullivan’s portrayals are believable, especially when adorned with the colorful costumes designed by faculty member Sarah McCabe. The large ball gowns and headdresses bring the audience to the eighteenth century. Small gold details on the costumes of some of the characters shine under the spotlight and emphasize their wealth.
The male actors in the play each held their own roles, from the crybaby King Louis XVI, played by James Poslusny, to the Prince Charming-like lover Axel Fersen, played by Tyler Graeper. The sheep, portrayed by freshman Laura Austin, was an unexpected character in the play. Written as either a dream or a hallucination of Marie’s, the sheep allowed Marie to convey what was really on her mind. Suspension of disbelief was important here since Austin carried a sheep prop on stage at first and then returned to the stage in sheep-like attire.
Overall, the play takes audience members on a journey with dramatic ups and downs. Misconceptions of Marie Antoinette are explored, and we are left to decide for ourselves what kind of person Marie really was.