WSU Underground Theatre’s ‘Body Awareness’ tackles self-image, sexuality, mental illness

Photo by Andrew Cora  Wayne State University's Underground Theatre presents Annie Baker's “Body Awareness” through July 13, with Sean Farrah (left) as Frank, Matthew Woods as Jared, Emily Erdt as Joyce and Kindall Storks as Phyllis. For tickets, call 313-577-2972 or go to theatreanddanceatwayne.com/underground.

Photo by Andrew Cora
Wayne State University’s Underground Theatre presents Annie Baker’s “Body Awareness” through July 13, with Sean Farrah (left) as Frank, Matthew Woods as Jared, Emily Erdt as Joyce and Kindall Storks as Phyllis. For tickets, call 313-577-2972 or go to theatreanddanceatwayne.com/underground.

 

Untitled-1Offering a glimpse into the minds of people trying to find themselves is the focus of Annie’s Baker’s “Body Awareness,” running through July 13 at Wayne State University’s Underground Theatre.

Remaining performances are 8 p.m. July 7, 9, 11, 12 and 13 in the Studio Theatre, in the lower level of the Hilberry, 4743 Cass, Detroit.

Following the summer theater theme of “Behind Closed Doors,” “Body Awareness,” the second summer offering, takes on sexuality, self-image and mental illness through the lens of the human spirit as each seek to find their place in the world.

Directed by Alex Morrison and Cammie McGillis, the cast includes Emily Erdt as Joyce, Sean Farrah as Frank, Kindall Storks as Phyllis and Matthew Woods as Jared.

The Underground Theatre, a student-produced summer theater laboratory, lets students direct and produce shows with minimal faculty involvement, providing an opportunity for experimentation and artistic challenge.

“Behind Closed Doors” gives audiences an intimate glimpse at others’ demons, the stories that people often keep to themselves, but which possess power when performed on a stage.

The forces that unite people – empathy, passion and truth – lets audiences gain more insight into others and themselves while watching student actors bring the stories poignantly to life on stage.

The final show in the summer series, Charles Mee’s “A Happy Life,” showcases the extraordinary moments in otherwise mundane, ordinary lives. It reminds one that we are all artists in some way, and each day we create our own unique “art.”

The show runs 8 p.m. July 19 to 21, 23, and 25 to 27 in the Studio Theatre.

As each character seeks his “happy life,” they are accompanied by a whimsical cacophony of sound, random lighting effects and cookies – not the intrusive kind – for serendipity and good measure.

Directed by Jared Lee, the cast includes Katie Akers as the Blood Red Woman, and the Woman Holding the Leash; Josue David Camerena as the Man in the Crimson Dress, and the Violinist; Brittney Holliday as the Ballerina; Maya Milton as the Glass Table Dancer; Alex Morrison as the Man on the Leash, and the Writhing Guy; Mike Vultaggio as the Therapist;  Bridget Wilkin as the Model; and Andy Yerby as the Pottery Guy.

Others in cast include ensemble members Freddi Christianson, Jane Clinton and Darnell Hines-Payne.

Tickets are $12 for each show. To order, call 313-577-2972 or go to theatreanddanceatwayne.com/underground.