Theater department prepares for ‘Nightingale’

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Scattered throughout the Eastern New Mexico University costume shop is a dedicated group of students and their director working feverishly to put the remaining touches on costumes for the upcoming production of “Eccentricities of a Nightingale.”

Written by Tennessee Williams, the play takes place in 1910 and is set in Mississippi. The play, which opens tonight, focuses on two young neighbors from different social backgrounds who have known each other their entire lives, said Stella Buie, director and costume designer.

According to Buie, the group has been preparing for the play since December. Rehearsals began in January. She has had to face the challenge of working with relatively young actors, plus working to put the costumes and set together, she said.

“The challenge has been getting them (the cast) to understand the emotions,” Buie said.

Mary Conklin plays the mother of John, a young doctor and love interest of lead character Alma Winemiller.

“Mrs. Buchanan is very disapproving of the relationship. She serves as an antagonist,” Conklin said.

Though both characters have feelings for each other, they acknowledge that a relationship between them would not be possible. The two have different social backgrounds that were not allowed to be together during the time and era in which the play is set, Buie said.

“They end up sharing one beautiful moment, and that is all,” Buie said.

Surpassing the challenges they have faced, the cast is busy finishing up last-minute details and preparing for dress rehearsals and the opening of the play, Buie said.

“We have a really great cast and great chemistry together,” Conklin said.

At a glance

What: “Eccentricities of a Nightingale”

Where: Eastern New Mexico University Theatre Center

When: Tonight through Saturday

Time: 7 p.m. each night

Price: General Admission: $8, Seniors 55+: $7, pre-college students: $6, ENMU students: $5
Information: University Theatre Center Box Office, 562-2710.