Smokefall Blackbox Theatre Show

Josh Reynoso, News Writer

With Mollie Young as director, Wayne State College’s theatre department is set to debut their newest show “Smokefall” written by Noah Haidle. 

Just a couple days before opening night, Young said she is looking forward to opening night.  

“There’s still new things happening every night, new discoveries and that’s really exciting as a director when you see actors thinking and working,” Young said. 

Young has directed at WSC since 2016, stepping in at the local community theatre, Young said. Part of that experience includes more than a dozen plays. Creating new and exciting experiences within the theatre is just a piece of what she helps provide with her directing. 

“The actor’s work is so interesting and so different from other kinds of work,” Young said. “It’s emotional work. It’s physical work. It takes both right brain and left brain if you believe in that kind of business. Every night there’s something kind of delightful and the new challenges that have to be dealt with and that keep everybody on their toes.” 

“Smokefall” follows the story of a pregnant Violet while she navigates themes of family dynamics. Young said she selected the poem because of its representation of magical realism within the theatre.  

“I chose the script because it’s an example of magical realism,” Young said. “That’s a genre that I’m interested in, but also I think the themes are really timely and they’re treated in a really beautiful and uncommon way.” 

Creating a story wrapped in both dramatic and comedic moments requires a cast and crew dedicated around the clock, Young said.  

“Casting is a lot of intuition,” Young said. “It’s also determining actors that can work well together, that their personalities will mesh, their schedules mesh and that I feel like everybody is on board, will be dedicated and diligent and also open to being directed and coming in and changing if it requires like that, not feeling like they have to direct themselves, but be open to new ideas and dealing with other people’s ideas. So, I try to choose cast members that either have proven themselves in the past to meet or to the theater program.” 

Construction on the theatre has been taking place for quite some time and the theatre program has had to adapt to these recent changes.  

“Well, we continue to teach classes in the Black Box,” Young said. “So, we’ve been here all along, through all of the construction, the noise and all of that. Theater people tend to deal well under duress. We adapt, we change. It’s just kind of the nature of our art is always starting over again. We’re project people ourselves, so we’re constantly building and taking down. I think that probably the biggest hurdle has been that people just assume that nobody’s in this building when in fact there is class in the Black Box all day every day and rehearsal all night. That’s been the biggest challenge.” 

WSC will present its first performance of this show Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre in the Peterson Fine Arts building. Tickets will be $5 at the door, but staff and students get in for free. Seating is limited.