With Saint Mary’s upcoming Fall production right around the corner, I sat down with senior Xavier Romero to find out more about the production and what sets it apart from performances in years past.
By Ryan Ford
What is your name, major, and graduating year?
“My name is Xavier Romero (He/Him). I am a Theatre and Performance Major and a Sociology Minor, and I will be graduating this coming spring in 2023.”
What is the Fall production called, and what is it about?
“The Fall production this year is called The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht and is translated into English by none other than our director for the show, Domenique Lozano. In essence, the play is about a young girl who finds a child during war times. She is forced to take care of this child, which already possesses great difficulty on its own, but she runs into so many different problems throughout the play. She encounters many different evil characters and even when she meets decent people, no one will help her through the journey. This young girl is forced to persevere throughout this journey and save this child from the evils of the world during the war.”
How does this production differ from previous Saint Mary's productions you have been involved in?
“This production greatly differs from other productions that I have been in because I am actually playing the antagonist for the first time in my acting career. And not just the kind of forgivable antagonist that we can feel for, one of my characters is just an evil and cruel guy. I am also playing music within this production in addition to my acting, which has posed difficulties for me in trying to balance everything out. But it has actually been pretty refreshing playing guitar in front of a crowd again. I haven't performed guitar in front of a crowd since 2017, when I helped perform The White Album by The Beatles at the Crest Theatre at Sacramento Preparatory, Music Academy. On top of those aspects, this play is different in every way. It does have comedic moments, but there is always this sense of somberness in the air and doom and gloom, so the vibe is very different from what I have worked on in the past.”
What roles and characters do you play in this production? How would you describe those characters within the context of the show?
“I play multiple roles, but the most prominent ones are as The Corporal and The Fat Prince. Both of the characters are antagonists in the show, and their actions are what lead the play into the events that really put the play into motion, specifically The Fat Prince. As I see him, The Fat Prince represents a man whose main goal has always been about gaining and maintaining power. He always wants more and more, regardless of how many people get killed and how many people suffer, and his power is what leads him to evil. The Corporal is a different type of evil, he is an army man who represents everything evil about war and the atrocities that are committed. He has no regard for human life and he loves hurting people.”
What has it been like preparing and rehearsing for this show?
“The rehearsals have been rough because there are so many moving parts in the play, every single cast member is playing multiple characters, singing, and constantly moving things on and off stage. Preparing has been a lot of work because this play is taking a lot of time out of our days. It can be hard to balance school, life, social life, work life, and on top of it all contributing nearly 24 hours a week to the rehearsal process. But we all do this because every cast member deeply cares about theatre and would actually contribute more time to theatre if possible. It just goes to show how dedicated the entire cast is.”
Who is the director of the show, and what is it like working with them?
“Domenique Lozano is a very different director to work with. She is very clear on the kind of vision she wants and is not afraid to keep her vision clear. At the same time, she has been very open about cast members' opinions on props and placement of material on stage. She also gives the actors leeway to make the character they have whatever we want it to be. [Domenique] gives us the imagination and freedom of exploring our characters.”
If you had to pick one reason for why Saint Mary's students should go see The Caucasian Chalk Circle, what would you say?
“I think it tells a story that students will be left questioning long after the play is over, not to mention it is a very gripping story where goodness triumphs against evil. I feel it is what people need during these negative times we are living in.”
When are your performances?
“Our performances will take place between November 3-6: November 3 at 8PM, November 4 at 6PM, two shows on November 5 at 2PM and 8PM, and November 6 at 2PM.”
For tickets and more information: https://www.stmarys-ca.edu/Caucasian-Chalk-Circle
Ryan Ford '23,