California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Cal Lutheran Presents: “Stop Kiss”

On Feb. 25, the California Lutheran University Theatre Arts department debuted their main stage production of the off-Broadway play “Stop Kiss.” The play was written by Diana Son and made its theatrical debut in 1998 in New York City.play1

“Stop Kiss” tells the story of Callie and Sara, two young women residing in New York City who begin their relationship as friends and slowly begin to fall in love with each other. Throughout the play, themes of love, homophobia and relationship dynamics are explored through the various characters.

Theatre Arts professor and first-time director Jocelyn Hall said she felt in her gut this was the right story for her to tell.

“In choosing this play, I wanted to show people how relationships, any kind, can form,” Hall said.

Callie and Sara, have a very strong chemistry that only intensifies as the story progresses, so getting the right two actors to play the part was very important. Hall said the casting process for this show was extremely difficult due to the number of talented performers that came out for the auditions that occurred in November.

“When it came down to making a decision, I just had to go with the pair that had the best chemistry,” Hall said.

The two chosen actresses were Cecilia Lindgren, who played Callie, and Kevlyn Holmes who portrayed Sara.

“It helped that Kevlyn has the natural zest and charisma similar to her character Sara, and Cecilia is a really grounded performer that was able to believably portray the complexity of her character Callie,” Hall said.

Luckily for the two lead actresses, building chemistry was not an issue given that they had worked together before in the past.

“I’ve known Kevlyn for two years now, so building the chemistry was actually pretty easy,” Lindgren said.

Both actresses knew early on that they wanted to be involved in the production of this play.

“From the second I read the script over the summer, I knew I wanted to be a part of this production,” Holmes said.

The prevalence of the themes in “Stop Kiss” is what made the play stand out to the actresses.

“The themes are extremely relevant to what’s currently happening. Gay hate crimes, discrimination against non-heterosexuals, are a very real problem. The fact that this play deals with such controversial themes made the play extremely appealing because I know it will make people think. That’s what theatre is about,” Holmes said.

Lindgren also talked about how the themes of love for not only a significant other, but also love for one’s self made the play stand out to her.

As if telling such a difficult story wasn’t hard enough, the cast and crew only had about four weeks to get the whole show ready for opening night, which is an unusually short time for a theatre production.

The set designer Josh Clabaugh and the costume designer Noelle Raffy worked through winter break to ensure the set and the costumes were ready by the time the cast and crew came back to campus.

“We had a read-through in December and we’ve been preparing and doing rehearsals since we got back from winter break, even when we were in Utah for ACTF,” Lindgren said.

Holmes said she only had about 11 rehearsals including the technical week, which is when the cast rehearsed for the first time with all the technical aspects of the play such as the lighting and the sound.

“Stop Kiss” is a contemporary play and story that Lindgren said the Theatre department doesn’t get to tell very often, so the cast and crew feel that it has an important message that it needs to get across. Even though the theme of homophobia may seem like the most prevalent message, the cast believes there is a far more powerful message that is being told.

“Love is complicated. It comes in many different forms, and you never know when it will come or with whom it will be with, but you have to follow your heart no matter how hard it gets,” Holmes said.

Alix Moise
Staff Writer
Published March 4th, 2015

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