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Cuesta performers take center stage

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By Casi McIntyre
News Editor

Feminism rocks center stage, challenging the view of modern American culture in an original musical written by Cuesta college’s own Phillip Valle and produced by student actors.

“The Emma Peel Game,” highlights a female indie band on the brink of stardom. The drama department calls the play a “manifesto” as it voices an opinion for feminism through 90’s punk music.

The drama department at Cuesta allows actors to work freely and creatively under a devised theatre framework.

“It means we have nothing but an idea. We walk into the process with nothing but an idea or a concept, something we want to tackle,” said Cash Costango, a fourth year theatre major at Cuesta.

The actors in this play come into rehearsal with only a skeleton outline of the play. They use their time in workshops to develop movement for scenes and pieces for the set. As the script undergoes many changes during rehearsals, the cast works together and ends up with a finished production.

“It’s more experimental and things change as you go along,” said Craig Culp, a Cuesta student actor since 2009. “It keeps you on your toes.”

Cast members of the play say the production isn’t a traditional musical and is more of a thriller.

“This is the only place that I know of that you can come in and create something like this as opposed to just doing a musical,” said Cash Costango, a fourth year theatre major at Cuesta. “You can come in and just make something.”

Director bree valle pays attention to the smallest details when setting up a scene and sprinkles personality into each character during rehearsal.

“The initial part of the rehearsal process can be quite painful for the playwright,” said valle. “It is the time when everyone tries to find their bearings in uncharted territory, and all manner of questions and concerns emerge.”

Productions from Cuesta’s theater department have toured outside of the state after being shown on campus. “Refried Elvis,” the department’s last play, toured in Hawaii at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre and Pool 63 went to Mexico.

“The Emma Peel Game” will be riding the success of these previous plays when it opens on Dec. 2 and runs through Dec. 11,  in the CPAC on the San Luis Obispo campus.