DramaTech prepares for upcoming comedy

Photo by Brenda Lin

DramaTech continues to wow audiences with its newest production, “Cartoon.” The play supersedes expectations, experimenting with new theatrical styles, such as Commedia del’Arte, to transport audiences to an alternate universe of animation filled with social commentary. With actors literally jumping off stage, “Cartoon” separates itself from all other past productions.

“Cartoon” features elaborate set designs, actors’ convincing portrayals of eccentric characters and interwoven plot twists. DramaTech’s adaptation of “Cartoon” treats audiences to an experience like no other with performances from Feb. 13 – 21.

The Technique got the chance to speak with Melissa Foulger, the director of “Cartoon,” about how DramaTech creates such unique elements within each of its shows, and what audiences should look for in this latest production.

Technique: What makes “Cartoon” different from other DramaTech productions?

Foulger: “Cartoon” is more cinematic in nature than other shows that DramaTech has done. It is also very stylized because each character is based off of a different cartoon trope. I also think that “Cartoon” has some surprises that the audience might not be expecting. These surprises will leave the audience talking for a while.

Technique: What should viewers look out for while watching “Cartoon?”

Foulger: Look for (and enjoy) all of the different cartoon tropes that appear. We tried to stay true to some really comedic cartoonin the production. More importantly, enjoy how we break them.

Technique: What’s been the most challenging aspect in preparing for opening night?

Foulger: This show is very stylized and very technically intricate, so only having five days to incorporate all of the technical elements into the production was probably the most challenging. Between several feeds of video, countless sound cues and a few surprise special effects, we had some real work ahead of us to have everything work together symbiotically.

Technique: What is something about your experience directing “Cartoon” that surprised you?

Foulger: I was surprised that even though I have directed several shows by playwright Steve Yockey over the years, I always am surprised by his clarity of language and the way in which he is able to dissect the human condition down to its basest level. He is able to surprise the audience in such a way that they have no idea what’s coming until they are three steps past it and then they can’t stop it.

Technique: What’s the most important aspect of a performance’s delivery to an audience?

Foulger: For this show, what’s most important about a performance’s delivery to an audience is a commitment to the style. If the actor or elements of the production seem out of step with the style, it has the potential to pull the audience out of the production.

Technique: What do you hope audiences take away after watching the performance?

Foulger: I hope the audience is able to question their relationship with the media and with violence. I hope they will understand the importance of the word “citizen,” question their role in our society and explore how and when they are able to make change.