The Autumn Garden comes to the Hugo Young Theatre

Ingrid Schmidt

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Dirty wallpaper, worn hardwood floors, and aged siding are taking over the Hugo stage.

The Ashland University Theatre Department’s first play of the season, The Autumn Garden, opens Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hugo Young Theatre.

The play’s director, Teresa Durbin-Ames says the play, by Lilian Hellman, is about a group of friends reunited at a summer house and reflecting on their lives.

“It’s just about these people who spend this time together and how once you add someone else into this mix, it really causes all of them to reflect on their own lives and the decisions they’ve made and what the future holds for them,” Durbin-Ames said.

Sophomore cast member, Maya Rickard, says all of the characters are unhappy people that are trying to deal with the past and move on with their lives. 

“It’s about real people,” Rickard said “It could relate to you in a way, because some people’s situations are very able to touch you in certain ways, that something else couldn’t touch you.”

Durbin-Ames hopes the audience will be able to take something meaningful away from The Autumn Garden.

“I think when they’re sitting here at this production, they’re going to be thinking about the characters on stage that may not have been actively pursuing anything in their lives and realizing, maybe I should have done things differently,” Durbin-Ames said.

The Autumn Garden also gives theatre students the opportunity to experience working on a realistic production according to Durbin-Ames.  

“The production has given the actors the opportunity to find the honesty and the truth in what these characters want and why they say what they say,” Durbin-Ames said.

The technical theatre students have also gotten the opportunity to work on creating realistic costumes and a realistic set alongside guest designers, Kim Powers, Daniel Hobbs, and Patty Lanious.

Durbin-Ames believes that all of the work put into this production will help audience members to realize their potential, especially AU students.

“I think for a college age audience that thinks that the whole world is in front of me, then go for it.  I think this play will offer this message of, don’t waste your life,” Durbin-Ames said.  “Make sure you are pursuing a life of purpose, in some way.”

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