“Find Me” looks at mental illness

Lauren Freund, Campus Connections Writer

The UWO theatre department’s next production, “Find Me,” is a one-act play completely run by students, which focuses on the lives and problems of characters that do not interact with one another.

The script consists of all monologues and no dialogue with characters who constantly interrupt each other.

These monologues range from short lines to long paragraphs, jumping from character to character.

The play touches on topics of abuse, fears, death, heartbreak, technology struggles and honesty.

The audience follows six characters and their journeys through finding who they really are and what shapes their personality.

Director and fifth-year student Alexandria Wolff said she chose this play because it would make the audience reflect upon themselves.

“I wanted it to be an experience and really get people thinking about their lives and others,” Wolff said.

Wolff said the biggest lesson the performance touches on is understanding people go through life at different paces and with different experiences.

“Just remembering that we’re all struggling with something,” Wolff said. “We can either downgrade people or we can help lift them up and understand where they’re at.”

Wolff said she found the use of only monologues interesting because it is a different way of showing the important parts of the play.

“It’s really interesting to see how the playwright decided to use other monologues and interjections to emphasize different parts of the other monologues,” Wolff said.

The play sticks out from others in the department because it is run by a student-only staff, Wolff said.

“It’s a student director, all the actors are students, the stage manager’s a student, the costume designer’s a student,” Wolff said. “So it’s helping support your fellow students.”

Freshman Kennedy Corpus, who plays Krystal, said the monologue style provides an interesting look into how the characters are feeling and how they grow.

“I think with the monologues, they do get a deeper understanding of what each character is going through in their lives and how they develop throughout the play,” Corpus said.

Corpus said she enjoys playing her character because Krystal talks about everything she is worried about, and it is a topic people can relate to personally.

“You know, having thoughts overrun your life,” Corpus said. “That’s kind of what’s happening to her, and I think getting to do that has made me realize more about myself and about others.”

Corpus said Wolff has been doing a great job of directing the play and has been a helping hand in improving their acting.

“She’s really upbeat but also gets down to business,” Corpus said. “When she gives us notes, I feel like she’s not bashing us on our acting but more helping us to do better throughout the show.”

Freshman Max Benitz, who plays Gil, said the script breaking down each monologue into chunks is interesting because it challenges the audience to really pay attention to each story.

“All of our characters are sort of on their own journeys separately, but throughout the show, they get interrupted and they get shut down,” Benitz said.”

Benitz said he enjoys playing Gil because he can personally identify with the struggles that his character faces.

“The journey that he goes on is very relatable to my family,” Benitz said. “So I think that’s sort of special to me.”

Benitz said Wolff has successfully combined being a collaborator and a director.

“There’ll be moments she’ll let us make choices and run with them,” Benitz said. “But then we’ll come back to it later and say, ‘Well, this worked well but maybe let’s try this this time,’ and it’ll make the scene so much better.”

Sophomore Rachel Ryan plays Jody and said having all monologue for the script has provided an interesting challenge for the actors.

“You can’t play off of necessarily what other people are saying because we don’t necessarily interact,” Ryan said. “But we do find our moments to do so, and as we’re telling our stories, we actually use the other actors to show that connection between the cast.”

Ryan said she enjoys playing Jody because it allows her to understand the struggles that people could be facing in their lives.

“My favorite part is being able to delve into a deeper character and realize that there are people who go through some really hard things in their lives,” Ryan said.

Ryan said Wolff has taken advantage of advice from those around her in order to help her be a good director and connect with the actors.

“She’s definitely consulted her different resources that she has,” Ryan said. “I’ve really enjoyed working with her throughout the process and I’ve gotten to know her and I really like that.”