While politics and elections are very serious topics for some, SRU’s theatre department production, “View of the Dome,” is approaching the topic of politics in a whole different light.
“Student’s should expect [‘View of the Dome’] to be very funny,” senior marketing major Nickolaus Edwards, 22, said. “It is a satire making fun of politics, so you should still take it seriously, but also laugh at it. You see how far people take things to get to the top, like the media spinning people’s words.”
Associate professor of theatre Laura Smiley is the director of production for “View of the Dome.” Smiley said they’ve been working since last spring to coincide with the election year.
“It’s a political satire about sex, money and politics, like what goes on behind the scenes,” Smiley explained. “It really criticizes the right and the left things, like sex scandals and how the religious right gets involved.”
Smiley said that one of the things addressed in the production is the mud-slinging in political campaigning. Smiley added that neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties are perfect when it comes to campaign ads or how they handle the competition of elections.
“The pre-show for the show is a bunch of political campaign ads, from Kennedy to Obama and Romney,” Smiley said. “You can see a shift from the gentlemanly way of political ads to now, [and] there are all of these smear ads going on. Let the buyer beware, if I went with the facts instead of just bashing each other or listening to the campaign ads and being sucked in, I would know what the truth really is.”
Smiley said the main approach with tying this year’s election into this production is the media and the effects of it, but with an interactive twist.
“There is multi-media involved, [and] we also have live feed cameras that will be filming the candidates on the screen,” Smiley said. “You can see just by the way it’s shown on the screen it’s different in person by the perspective you get.”
Junior psychology major Meg Rodgers described her role as Emma, as a genuine, honest person who loses herself getting sucked into the nasty side of politics.
“My character is more a philosophical thinker than politician,” Rodgers explained. “She’s just trying to hold on to relationships, while the rest are working their way to the top.”
Rodgers, 20, said students get to look forward to laughing a lot during this production as well as having their eyes opened to how ugly the competition of politics can get.
“It is a satire, so it’s really funny in the way that it makes fun of both parties,” Rodgers said.
Edwards introduced his character, Arthur, as one of the main congressmen, who becomes influenced by a powerful broker named Anna Beth, played by junior journalism major Stephanie Skinger, 20.
“He starts out pretty even kill, then once Anna Beth comes into the picture, she influences him a lot, he gets into it deep and he starts acting different,” Edwards said. “He wasn’t sure about running at first, but then he feeds into it and enjoys it.”
When preparing for his role of Arthur, Edwards said he did extensive research on past Presidents to gain more sense of his character.
“I did a lot of YouTube speech watching all the way back to Carter, Kennedy and Clinton to now Obama,” Edwards said. “I focused on the rhetoric – the way they carried themselves as they’re doing their speeches. When you’re delivering a speech, you want to excite people, you want them to feel something. During my speech, we have people back in the wings cheering, so hopefully the audience will pick up on that and join in to make it feel more real.”
Show times for “View of the Dome” are 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sunday and October 1-4, with a matinee showing at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $7 for students with ID and $12 for general admission.