Instructor’s play heads to New York

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CELLESTE BELLOTTE | Scroll Photography BOTTOM LEFT: Bielzy and Gottfried take a bow at the end of one of the morality plays. TOP RIGHT: Snake tells Adam and Pandora/Eve about the box full of hope and Ills. MIDDLE: Omar Hansen plays the part of Joshua Gottfried. BOTTOM RIGHT: Sister Prescott gives her church talk.
CELLESTE BELLOTTE | Scroll Photography BOTTOM LEFT: Bielzy and Gottfried take a bow at the end of one of the morality plays. TOP RIGHT: Snake tells Adam and Pandora/Eve about the box full of hope and Ills. MIDDLE: Omar Hansen plays the part of Joshua Gottfried. BOTTOM RIGHT: Sister Prescott gives her church talk.
CELLESTE BELLOTTE | Scroll Photography
Bielzy and Gottfried take a bow at the end of one of the morality plays.

Lucifer and God, or Bielzy and Gottfried, joined forces at the Romance Theater June 20-21 and sparked the audience’s thoughts on morality in the play “Bielzy and Gottfried.”

Omar Hansen, an instructor in the theatre and dance department, wrote the play, lyrics, music, book and even acts as characters Joshua Gottfried, the priest, and Ed the grandfather.

Hansen said they will be performing in New York July 14-20 at the June Havoc Theatre during the Midtown International Theater festival.

“That’s what people told me to do,” Hansen said. “‘If you want to get your play started in New York, get to the festivals.’”

Hansen said it is a five-month process to apply for a play in New York. He said he has dreamed of performing a play there.

“It’s been a wonderful journey but maybe the hardest thing I’ve ever done, so I’m hoping it will go places,” Hansen said.

Hansen said this opportunity to go to New York could not have been possible without contributors.

“The city of Rexburg … has been an amazing sport in putting this show and helping the cast get to New York,” Hansen said.

Hansen said he started out with one character named Bielzy and then wondered what would happen if he added a Gottfried character.

“What would happen if God and the Devil wrote a play?” Hansen said.

Hansen said his inspiration for “Bielzy and Gottfried” was morality and medieval plays.

“I love plays with the controversy of morality, and I wanted to write something that could be both figurative and questioning,” Hansen said.

Hansen said he hopes his play will make audiences really think about their morality.

“Not get answers but question their morality and think about the old stories that are in the play and what they mean to them,” Hansen said.

Hansen said plays have to take place between 90 minutes to two hours.

“A movie can go all over the place, a novel can go all over the place, but a play has to present a conflict, a main character, and a theme,” Hansen said.

Hansen said a play has to have continuous action to keep the audience’s attention. He said the hardest part is structuring a play.

He said every night before the play begins they have a theatre call.

Hansen said a theater call is a unifying call that brings the actors together before the play.

“Actors are all serstitious, and I always have a theater call to get us going,” Hansen said. “It’s a line from the play, ‘That’s not in the script’ and that’s actually in the script.”

Hansen said they choose a different line from the play every night before a performance.

Jon Peter Lewis, an independent actor who was a finalist in season three of “American Idol,” has had experience in theatre and music. Lewis plays Job in one of the scenes in “Bielzy and Gottfried”.

“They asked me to be part of it just a few weeks ago,” Lewis said.

Lewis said he and Omar Hansen, the director of the play, have been friends for a long time.

He said that he has studied at BYU-Idaho on and off during his career.

“This has been the only school I have attended, but I have done a lot of acting in between professionally,” Lewis said.

He said he was featured in season four of “The Voice” on Adam Levine’s team, acted in an episode of the television show “Good Luck Charlie,” played Jesus Christ in “Godspell” in Los Angeles and has released numerous records.

Lewis said that all of the characters in Bielzy and Gottfried are “symbolic.”

“They are metaphors for moral situations,” Lewis said.

“It’s a personal thing to me because I’m human and can completely relate to his problems,” Lewis said. “I think he’s a very interesting character, very compelling.”

Tyrell Clement, a student at Utah Valley University, was cast as the character Lucious Bielzy.

He said he has played characters in several plays such as Raoul in “The Phantom of the Opera,” the fat prince in “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” and Jack Frost in “Jack Frost.”

“In most plays that I have been in, I have been cast as the bad guy,” Clement said.

Clement said he wasn’t sure if Bielzy was necessarily bad.

“He is the devil, but it’s all morally ambiguous, which is the point,” Clement said.

Clement said one of his favorite and most personally challenging parts of the play is the Job scene.

He said since he’s playing Bielzy he has to be set about the beauty of Job’s persistence in choosing to stay good.

“I’m sposed to sit there and not enjoy it, and it’s really hard for me because everyone is so great,” Clement said.

Clement said Lewis does a good job acting but he can’t personally enjoy it as much as the audience. He said he has to stay in character as the devil.

He said he was a little nervous coming from UVU to Rexburg to meet the cast, but felt better after the first rehearsal.

“After the first rehearsal with these guys I saw how talented they were and I knew it was going to be great,” Clement said.

Holland said female cast members will get lipstick and blush and male cast members will get facial hair.

Holland said there are around 25 cast members that she has to help touch throughout the play.

She said she enjoys the rush of getting the crew ready and showing everyone what she can do by adapting the characters to their role through make.

“With make, I like seeing how simple tactics can change how someone looks,” Holland said. “The actor is what gives you the character, but we show who the character is.”

Crew Johnston, a freshman majoring in theater studies, has been cast as the character Dodger.

He said he loves the opportunities that being in a play brings to him.

“I love being in the productions here at BYU-I,” Johnston said. “We have a wonderful bonding time not only as a cast, but as a crew. It’s fun to be a part of that family.”

Johnston said the play is about a lord who falls in love with a woman he shouldn’t love. He said in order to see her again and avoid going into war in France, he disguises himself as a shoemaker.

“With ‘Shoemaker’s Holiday,’ I particularly love the contrast between the comedy and the history within the play,” Johnston said. “It is an Elizabethan production and so there’s a lot of rich history that’s been kept in the script.”

Johnston said with moving production from the Snow Drama Theater to the amphitheater outside the library, everything is falling into place. He also said he is excited to see the final transformation.

“I hope the audience gets a feeling of not only the past and the history that brought acting and theater to modern day, but that they also get a sense that they can laugh at life and enjoy it,” Johnston said.

Tuttle said families are encouraged to come. Tickets for the show are $3 for students and $6 for patrons.