One woman, one show

Butler University theatre majors come up with the ideas for their senior projects in a number of ways, some probably far different from others.

For senior Kerry Stauffer, her inspiration struck while she was on a plane to New York more than a year ago.

The resulting play, “Trust Me,” was written entirely by Stauffer, with some aid from her stage manager, sophomore Lizzie Stickney.

“When (Stauffer) is unsure about something, she will ask me,” Stickney said. “She has done all the work. I am just a buffer that she can bounce ideas off of.”

The event’s Facebook page promotes the project by posing two questions: “Are one’s memories real, or have they come to be what one wants to believe?” and “In the middle of an obstacle, how does one overcome the challenges and continue on with life?”

According to the page, “the past and present merge into a beautiful mess of remembering and moving on” during the play.

Stauffer said she has tirelessly worked on this project since she had the idea.

“After a lot of time and work, we found a version that we liked and decided to stick with it,” Stauffer said.

Searching her memories to figure out what is real and what is not, a girl tries to overcome a struggle in her life throughout the play.

Stickney said working on this project is different than managing the stage in general because it is more hands on.

The show’s one-woman aspect is also very unique.

“It’s really different,” Stickney said. “It’s not just like sitting there and watching a play. There are so many digital and technical visual aspects.

“It’s not just someone acting. It is a true story and told not only through Kerry, but (also) through movies.”

Junior Kelsey Nylin painted an entire animated movie in watercolors for “Trust Me.” Stickney said this is just another reason why potential viewers should not anticipate seeing a “regular play” if they choose to see “Trust Me.”

Nylin said she painted in large swooping strokes with black watercolor ink when creating the movie.

“My inspiration as far as the style came from images of black and white artwork that Kerry sent me that featured loosely-shaped figures and a very ‘sketch-like’ quality,” Nylin said. “It took around 26 hours to complete.”

Nylin and Stauffer worked closely together to create Nylin’s visual representation of Stauffer’s dream.

For many senior theatre majors, the senior project represents the culmination of everything they’ve done and is essentially the capstone of their college experience.

“The Butler theatre department gives a well-rounded education, and part of that is the senior project,” Stickney said.

Stauffer said she is very excited about the process and also is “excited to be done.”

The play is free to spectators and will be performed in Lilly Hall 328. Preview performances are today at 10 p.m. and tomorrow at 9 p.m.

Shows are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.


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