Dr. Coley guest-directs Three Sisters at OBU

By Olivianna Calmes, Assistant Arts Editor

OBU Theatre department’s next show of the season is coming up at OBU, and auditions have already taken place.  

Three Sisters is guest directed by Dr. David Coley, who used to work at St. Gregory’s University. 

The cast consists of 12 and will be performed April 25th through the 28th. 

Dr. David Coley has a Ph.D. in Theater and has taught at St. Greg’s for 12 years in the theatre department.

He directed and produced shows as well as teaching theatre-related classes. He is friends with OBU’s Director of Theatre Matthew Caron, which is how he got involved with OBU’s theatre program. 

 “When St. Gregs announced they were closing, Matt [Caron] was my first phone call,” Coley said.  

Dr. Coley ended up teaching some classes at OBU, including writing this last fall.  

Last spring Matt [decided he] wanted to do an Anton Checkhov [show] and he knew I really liked Checkhov so he asked me to direct it, and I jumped at the chance,” Coley said. 

Checkhov wrote this show in 1900 and it was based in Moscow, Russia at first. 

Three Sisters was one of Checkhov’s best works, Coley said. The reason he wanted to direct this show in particular is because it showcases a family who is stuck in the midst of societal and cultural change. 

 “I’m always really drawn to stories about people who are victims of history,” he said. They may want this or that but history and culture takes them in a different direction. This family…try as they might, can’t escape the world around them, they are going to be carried along with it. It was written in Russia before the revolution, but Checkhov sensed what was on the horizon. This family has to balance the changes that are happening [all around them]. 

He says that the content of the play has both serious and dramatic elements. 

Checkhov thought his own works were comedies, but most people who watch his shows think they are very serious.  

“[Checkhov] has a very dark strange sense of humor, so that’s something we are going to balance in the show,” Coley said. It is certainly going to play dramatic for many of us but I’m going to try and find that strange levity that he saw, whereas we saw many of these characters as tragic, he saw them as ridiculous, so we’re going to try and balance that.”  

He sees this show as an interesting challenge and is excited to work with OBU to create something unique. 

“The show is in an alley configuration, where the audience sits in both sides of the stage, and I am excited to experience what this show has to offer,” Platter said.

This is different than the last show, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that debuted in February. Another unique part of this show will be the music. 

One of my favorite things to do as a director is to pick the soundtrack, I have some interesting ideas for that,” Coley said. I am [also] looking forward to working with the actors here because they are a very talented bunch. 

Bailey Platter, a sophomore double major in Theatre and Student Ministry, has just been cast in the show and is especially looking forward to participating. 

I’m excited for this show because it will be challenging and will stretch me as an actor because it is realism and Russian,” Platter said. I’ve always wanted to be in a Checkov play, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity.”  

 

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