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As a creative thesis project, the direction of Interior: Panic by Tennessee Williams aimed to create an atmosphere of hope and present the evolution of relationships because of mental illness. It aims to envelop audiences in a sense of intimacy and distress as the emotional journey of the protagonist Blanche’s psychosis progresses and the details of her life come to light. Through creative staging, pronounced and transformative lighting, and grounded performances, Interior: Panic stresses the turmoil of a progressing mental health disease. Lighting and acting were the primary vehicles to depict shifts in conflict and mental state. Without true resolve, the play leaves audiences reflective of their own journeys with mental health and their relationships with others. This play was performed in a thrust arena, with no budget and little tech support. The cast was comprised of Sylvia Stephens (Blanche), Madeline Hatfield (Grace), Keoni Kabatignan (George/ensemble), Frankie Braker (Jack/ensemble), and Drew Clark (Bill Collector/ensemble). Production staff included Emma Belew (Director), Lily Bashara (Stage Manager), and Jonas Organ (Lighting). Costume and sound design was also completed by Emma Belew. This production was a part of the educational Footlight series through Western Michigan University’s Department of Theatre and Dance. Performances took place over March 27th and 28th in York Arena Theatre. Rehearsals took place over five weeks, with a cumulative time of 50 hours of rehearsal. Mark Liermann oversaw the production as Committee Chair and the Footlight Mentor and Chair.
Belew, Emma, ""Interior: Panic" Bringing to Life a World of Psychosis and Hope" (2023). Honors Theses. 3649.
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