By Hannah Rodrigues
The cast and crew were anxiously awaiting the arrival of students and community members as they were preparing to give a performance that has taken months to perfect. Spinning into Butter launched on Saturday, March 1 in the Gist Hall Theatre. Tickets are available with a limited number of free seats available to students. The prize winning play originally done by Rebecca Gilman was directed by HSU director Cassandra Hesseltine.
Jennifer Goodwin, a student at College of the Redwoods, was enthusiastic to see the play.
“I really wanted to see this production because these are issues that a lot of people can identify with,” she said.
The play is set at Bellemont College in the Dean’s office. As people enter the theater, they are greeted by an usher who politely tells them to take a seat because the Dean will be with you shortly.
The play is filed with serious issues about race, while still making the audience laugh.
“I really liked how I was greeted when I walked in,” Goodwin said. “It seemed like we were really in the Dean’s office!”
The play is described as bold, witty and provocative by the community, which fits the main character Mary May who plays the role of Sarah Daniels, Dean of Students. The play touches on a lot of controversial issues that some viewers may have experienced themselves. It is a play about racial issues in our society.
Alicia Hernandez, a 19-year-old HSU biology major, has been working backstage for a few weeks preparing for the play to take the stage.
“It was really fun working backstage and helping with some of the scenes and the set,” she said. “I knew Spinning into Butter would touch the hearts of many people.”
Giovanni Alva plays a student who does not wish to disclose his ethnicity but will only qualify for a prestigious scholarship if he identifies as Puerto Rican or Hispanic. The play begins with Alva and May discussing how Alva can get this scholarship.
“All the actors did a great job in this production,” Hernandez said. “You can really tell that they are passionate about the issues this play represents.”
As the middle of the play approaches is becomes more evident that there are lingering issues regarding race at Bellemont College. An African American student receives threatening notes outside of his dorm room and it is now up to the Dean and her staff to make sure that this is not a reoccurring issue, which proves to be more difficult than anticipated.
Jose Cardenas is an HSU wildlife major who had other reasons for seeing the production.
“As part of a theater class, we have to see the play, but I’m happy I went because that class is really fun and I’ve never seen a play at HSU before,” Cardenas said. “If you haven’t seen the play, you should because it’s free for students and it’s a good time!”