‘6 Characters in Search of an Author’

Noah Akers, Max Raybon, Summer Akers, Candace Williamson and Laurie Anne Akers appear as the ghostly characters in the play.

by Life Editor Ann Harkey

UNA’s department of music and theatre presented Luigi Pirandello’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author” Nov. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the George S. Lindsey theatre.

The play will have multiple showings, including Nov. 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m.

The play follows a troupe of actors rehearsing for “The King Stag” in the George S. Lindsey Theatre. The characters are all named after their real-life actor counterparts and feature lines that are relevant to the Florence area and UNA community that brings the audience into the action.

As the actors rehearse for “The King Stag,” six ghostly characters appear on stage during a glitch in the power. The pale, otherworldly characters include a father, a mother, a stepdaughter, two sons and a young daughter all dressed in shades of gray or black. Their speech is reminiscent of historical English, proper and with certain dialects. The ghosts tell the rehearsing actors that they are looking for a place to tell their story through actors in a play. Reluctant, the actors listen to their ghostly tale.

The play — the one the audience is experiencing — features minimal props, tons of transitional lighting effects and costuming. The story captures the audience in the first moment the ghostly characters appear on stage. Their story involves estranged parents, disturbing “love” affairs and severe depression, all with appropriate touches of humor throughout.

The actors, while playing themselves, added just enough flair to their “characters” that was believable and entertaining. Their interactions with the six ghost actors felt natural, reacting appropriately to each scene. The ghost actors never lost their accent or form, including the very young child actors.

The audience members felt the performance was dead-on.

“It was intense,” said Sarah Varden, UNA student. “It makes you feel chills.”

The play put fear into other students.

“I don’t know if I could be in (George S. Lindsey Theatre) alone,” said Chelsea Perri.

The actors enjoyed performing the play.

“It was a challenge,” said R.J. O’Connell, actor. “I’ve never worked on a play in this style, but it was fun.”

Some actors found it a different experience playing a dramatized version of themselves.

“It is strange playing yourself,” said Abby Hood, actor. “I wouldn’t normally be such a diva. “

Overall, the performance was entrancing, enjoyable and definitely worth going to see.