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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Guest artist performs children’s play, provides guidance for next university production

Initially, I wasn’t sure how to feel about watching a woman struggle to get out of a fabergé egg for half an hour. I spent the first 15 minutes wondering if it was going over everyone’s head as much as it was going over mine. Much like the titular Philomena, however, recognition dawned on me the more I watched the scene unfold.
“The World of Philomena” ran for four shows Sept. 6 through 7. I got a front row seat to better survey the scene.
To say the stage was minimalist would be an understatement. In fact, it’d be more accurate to explain it as it was: a series of three stones on a blue carpet with a series of light wands lining the edges.
When the house lights went down, the darkness became oppressive. The following 30 minutes portrayed a clown (Marie-Laure Cloarec) scrambling from her home, within a cave, and onto a search for meaning.
“It is about a birth; the birth of a woman clown,” writer and performer Marie-Laure Cloarec says in the playbill. “It is about an interior journey which will help her go out of the egg and make the journey back to her origins.”
Although at first I couldn’t help but wonder what I’d just walked into, a slow but steady love for the performance grew in me. Her gesticulation was melodramatic and humorous, but it was the poetry and depth of her message that hooked me when it finally found it’s hold.
She often revisited a line about either stagnating and turning to stone or else leaving to fly in the warm wind. It wasn’t until the third time around that the message struck me. She danced and spun across the stage, shouting out her name.
It was five minutes until curtain and I finally got the point: if you’re not flying by now, then you’re not living. It was brief. It was in a language that wasn’t her own. It was a challenge, and it was beautiful.
“I loved it,” Nandi Mathews (junior, Theatre) said. “I loved how it was about identities and breaking out of your shell and finding your own voice.”
If you missed this show, or watched it and loved it, be sure to catch “Scapin.” “Scapin” is a reversal-of-fortune comedy written by Molière and performed by our own theatre department. The show runs Oct. 3 through 5 and 10 through 12 at 8 p.m., and Oct. 6 and 13 at 2 p.m. Cloarec is imparting her knowledge of gesture and poetry upon the cast.
“She’s teaching us how to speak with our bodies,” Amelia Blank, CSU Alumni, said. “[She tells us] how to isolate body parts and find character through our body.”
Blank is filling the role of Argante in the CSU Stanislaus production of “Scapin.” Mathews, involved with “Scapin” as a crew member, also professed an admiration of Cloarec’s style.
“I loved the quote that she repeated throughout the show,” said Mathews in relation to Cloarec’s repeating monologue about stagnation in “The World of Philomina.”
“And it’s so true. If you stay the same person […] you’ll never grow. I guess if you’re busy looking for one thing your entire life, you get lost in living.”

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Guest artist performs children’s play, provides guidance for next university production