Sketches from the Soul

Journey into the soul of an artist through a series of original sketches and monologues that will be presented in downtown Red Deer. A Patchwork Odyssey is a student-directed performance happening April 9-11, at the Scott Block Theatre.

Journey into the soul of an artist through a series of original sketches and monologues that will be presented in downtown Red Deer.

A Patchwork Odyssey is a student-directed performance happening April 9-11, at the Scott Block Theatre.

The audience will be led through a dramatic experience, “in the hopes that people will get kind of an idea of what it’s like to be an artist,” said Ashley Rose Mercia, president of the student-run troupe, Beige Entertainment.

She added that a “straight” narrator named John and an artistic narrator named Dionysus (named for the Greek god of the grape harvest) will tour the crowd through various spaces in the basement of the Scott Block to see monologues, sketches, movement pieces and soundscapes being performed.

The project is meant to prepare the 11 second-year RDC theatre students for what it requires to put on their own shows after graduation. Mercia and her classmates are writing, directing, performing, doing costuming, lighting and other behind-the-scenes technical work to get the production in front of an audience.

The show’s theme, of emerging through darkness into light, was loosely inspired by Max Beckmann’s anti-war painting The Night, which portrays people being tortured and terrorized. The modernist German artist served during in the First World War and was later considered a “degenerate” artist by the Nazi government.

Mercia said her fellow students took a much less literal interpretation of torture; “We thought about what goes on in an artist’s brain … Artists are often ‘tortured,’ but they go on to create something beautiful and enlightening.”

The sketches and monologues will revolve around the creation process — from a long business meeting that takes an Alice-in-Wonderland-like turn, to interaction between a sad clown and a happy clown.

Admission to the 7 p.m. shows (as well as the 1 p.m. Sunday matinee) are by donation at the door.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

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