Just before the college closed for the holidays, Keene State’s Theater and Dance department held auditions for their third production of the year, Jason Robert Brown’s “The Last Five Years.”
Auditions were originally slated to take place in-person, but were recently moved to be by video submission only. Although this is not how auditions are normally conducted at Keene State, safety was the main priority, according to KSC Associate Professor and Director of the show Kirstin Riegler.
“Due to COVID cases rising, I want students to feel comfortable,” Riegler said.
Despite these minor adjustments, the audition process is going forward. They will be working remotely through the break, and reconvene for rehearsals when campus reopens, according to stage manager Molly Delaney. The creative team is eager to get started.
“I’m just really excited for the show to happen and for the process to start… It’ll definitely be refreshing to still be working and still doing things over the break, which will be fun to look forward to,” Delaney said.
Riegler is putting a new spin on the show by double-casting. Traditionally, the show follows the five-year relationship between a heterosexual couple, but Riegler is creating a second cast with a lesbian couple.
“I always approach my work with a gender and sexuality lens, and by adding a lesbian couple to this show… I am curious to see if the relationship between the pair will be viewed differently,” Riegler said.
Delaney said she is excited about Riegler’s vision for the show, “It’ll be really cool, because we encourage audiences to see both [casts] to compare and contrast… That’s going to be super cool, and I’m really excited about that component.”
“The Last Five Years” is scheduled to take the stage in March at the Redfern Arts Center.
Caitlin Howard can be contacted at: