Molly Adea has been cast as the Skriker in The Skriker by Caryl Churchill, directed by Jon Reimer! See her perform March 13-17 at the Arthur Wagner Theatre!
About the play
An ancient fairy that shapeshifts into various people as it pursues Lily and Josie, two teenage mothers whom it befriends, manipulates, seduces, and entraps. Blending naturalism, horror and magical realism, The Skriker is a fantastical story of love, loss, and revenge.
About the playwright
Caryl Churchill is a British playwright known for dramatizing the abuses of power, for her use of non-naturalistic techniques, and for her exploration of sexual politics and feminist themes. Her early work developed Bertolt Brecht's modernist dramatic and theatrical techniques of Epic theatre to explore issues of gender and sexuality. From 1986 onwards, she began to experiment with forms of dance-theatre, incorporating techniques developed from the performance tradition initiated by Antonin Artaud with his 'Theatre of Cruelty'. This move away from a clear Fabel dramaturgy towards increasingly fragmented and surrealistic narratives characterises her work as postmodernist.
About the Director
Jon Reimer is a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Joint PhD Program of UC San Diego and UC Irvine, as well as a director and theatre educator. His research is centered around the work of Japanese novelist and playwright Yukio Mishima, queer performance in post-WWII Japan, and pedagogical issues regarding ego and nostalgia. He received a BA in Theatre Arts with a minor in Asian Studies from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. UC San Diego credits: Baby Teeth(Director, WNPF 2017), Scenes from an Execution (Director), Angels in America, Part Two: Perestroika (Director), Boston Marriage (Director), Borealis (AD/Dramaturg), Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches (AD/Dramaturg), The Cherry Orchard (AD/Dramaturg), Golden Boy (Frank/Mickey). Other directing credits: Songs for a New World, The Insanity of Mary Girard, The Pillow of Kantan (world premiere), Pippin, Once Upon a Mattress, Into the Woods, A Kabuki Christmas Carol (world premiere).
My first encounter with The Skriker by Caryl Churchill was at Muhlenberg College, where I did my undergraduate degree in Theatre. My mentors, Dr. Beth Schachter and Dr. Jim Peck, both UC San Diego MFA Directing alumni, used the play in their practicum courses, primarily because of its abundance of scenes with only female actors. The Skriker was how many of us at Muhlenberg first encountered a play that made a performance of words, not in terms of their direct meaning but rather their musicality as sounds and rhythm makers. We didn’t venture into the Lacanian logic of the language structure, or how the story was existing in and around the words; we just knew it began with a five-page monologue which required WORK to understand. As Churchill was greatly influenced by the theatre of Bertolt Brecht, her plays – in their grandure of imagery and language, with layer upon layer of content and meaning – acknowledge their theatre-ness. Only by the audience being reminded again and again that they are watching a stage show can they see the meaning of its content and (if successful) make them want to leave the theatre and do something to improve the state of our world. For our production at UCSD, the Skriker is not just one actor but instead a Greek chorus of sorts, a phalanx from which individuals will emerge every time the creature shape-shifts. The group is an amorphous cluster, undulating as it speaks, changing form with sound and emotion. Bodies disappear and are replaced with shapes in the shadows for this magic-filled world that is scary, shocking, and bizarre. The audience in the Arthur Wagner Theatre will feel confined and claustrophobic, so that they feel like Lily and Josie feel from the Skriker and their circumstances of their world: surrounded, suffocated, trapped, hunted. To me, The Skriker is a play about how the world chews women up, spits them out, and expects them to keep on going despite the trauma of having been devoured. The events of the play happen to Lily and Josie, are put upon them, rather than being about them or for them. So does that mean the Skriker, the creature of this story, should be seen as real or as an allegory? Should its words be taken as literal or metaphorical? The answer: the Skriker is whatever you think it is, and it is nothing that you think it is. I know what I think, but the brilliance of Churchill is that the Skriker is whatever we each think it to be, and also not.
The Creative Team
Director – Jon Reimer Scenic Designer – Nancy Chao Costume Designer – Samantha Englander Lighting Designer – Michelle Yang Xiao Sound Designer and Composer – James Reid Dramaturg – Kristen Tregar Music Director – James Forest Reid Vocal Coach – Kristen Tregar Assistant Director – Farah Dinga Assistant Costume Designer – Isabele De Lima Assistant Costume Designer – Tommy Goss Assistant Costume Designer – Michael Romero Assistant Lighting Designer – Valerie Lam Production Stage Manager – Bryan P. Clements Assistant Stage Managers – Hope Binfeng Ding Assistant Stage Manager – Hazel Park Scenic Crew – Elizabeth Blackwell Scenic Crew – Jake Sutton Costume Crew – Ally McGreevy Costume Crew – Daniel Rivera Costume Crew – Xuenig Yuen Light Board Op – Farah Dinga Sound Board Op – Naylen Feria Projections Op – Regan Gerdes
Josie – Cassandra Gutierrez Lily – Yan Chen Skriker - Old Woman/Hag – Olivia Torres Skriker - Derelict Woman – Molly Adea Skriker - American Woman – Ceres Trinh Skriker - Party Girl – Sylvette Teman Skriker - Little Girl – Jalani Blankenship Skriker - Man – Ryan Martinez Skriker - Marie – Erin Li Depressed Girl/Josie Understudy – Isabele De Lima Woman/Nelly Longarms – Sarah Gray Dead Child – Alexandra King Passerby/Radiant Boy – Levani Korganashvili Green Lady – Emma Langton Man with Bucket/Jimmy Squarefoot – Stephen Lightfoot Girl with Telescope/Lily Understudy – Natalie Lin Kelpie – Andrew Olson Yallery Brown/Spriggan – August Robinson Brownie/Skriker Understudy – Jamie Scangarella
Performances at the Arthur Wagner Theatre in the UC San Diego Theatre District
Tuesday March 13 7:30PM Opening
Wednesday March 14 7:30PM
Friday March 16 7:30PM
Saturday March 17 2:00PM
Saturday March 17 7:30PM Closing
(Information taken from the UC San Diego Theatre and Dance Website)