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In an upcoming Elmira College Theatre performance, the six-person cast of Theatre Unmasked will perform short skits written by fellow cast members. The skits explore several themes, including friendship, confidence, and connection.
The 45-minute play is free and open to the public and does include some adult language and themes. Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, November 11, and Saturday, November 12, in the Watson Theatre.
“It's a type of show I have never been a part of before,” said Jadde Didonato-White ’23, a Theatre major and the show’s producer and costume designer. “The show itself excites me by showing great insights into the wonderful cast's lives.”
To create the play, Rebecca Rich, Theatre Director, drew inspiration from Ping Chong’s interview-based theatre technique where community members tell their own stories about identity and belonging. Rich asked the cast to complete a set of questions about themselves. She then paired up the performers and asked them to share their answers with each other. The cast members then wrote skits based on what they learned about their partner.
“The things we wrote down were changed a lot,” said Mia Pavon ’26, a Psychology major and cast member. “But a lot of my words were kept in the script, as were the general themes of hope and faith and not letting outside things tear you down in life.”
Ayden Herreid '26, an Adolescent Education major and cast member, wrote his skit based on the information Kevin Silfee ’23 provided.
“I saw that he likes fishing. So I took that and wrote about how the feeling of being alone while fishing can be good for some people,” he said.
“This show allows the audience a window into the experiences these actors have gone through and allows them to reflect on how the actors and the audience are similar,” said Didonato-White. “The audience may even learn a little bit about themselves.”
Pavon and Herreid expressed similar hopes. They want the audience to walk away with a sense of connection. The bond formed between the actors and the audience is partly what attracts them to acting.
“I’m excited to get on the stage and keep doing theatre,” said Herreid. “I love it. It was my first love in life. A world with theatre is better than a world without it.”
“Theatre is a piece of art,” said Pavon. “This show is relatable. These are our stories made palatable so people can connect with them, take inspiration from them, and enjoy them.”