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The award-winning newspaper of Anne Arundel Community College.

Campus Current

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Theatre preps for January “Hurricane Diane” staged reading

The+cast+and+crew+of+Hurricane+Diane+prepares+for+their+January+performance+at+their+first+rehearsal.
Mason Hood
The cast and crew of “Hurricane Diane” prepares for their January performance at their first rehearsal.

Theatre AACC will perform a staged reading of the comedy “Hurricane Diane” in January.
The performance, which will run Jan. 19 and 20 at 7 p.m., is a dark comedic take on climate change by playwright Madeleine George.
“I thought it was an intriguing premise,” theater professor Madeline Austin, the show’s director, said. In the play, “Dionysus is a butch lesbian, and [she] has to save the earth, the climate. It’s a metaphor; [she] has to seduce these women, both physically and also emotionally.”
In the play, which premiered off-Broadway in 2019, Dionysus, referred to as Diane, seduces four women with the hopes of changing their yards to be better for the environment.
“It gets a little serious at the end because it gets dark suddenly,” Austin said. “But up until then it’s hilarious.”
As a staged reading, the show will be different from regular Theatre AACC performances.
“Because of the budget, we’re limited in what we can do,” Austin said. “A staged reading [is] where there’s not a lot of movement. Actors can have their scripts [and] you can’t invest a lot in scenery.”
AACC alumnus Leo Kubit, who will play Diane, said the play was “the reason why I came back.”
“I really loved the role of Diane and I decided that I was like, ‘I don’t really care if I get [the part] or not, I just want to play Diane, at least for the audition,’” Kubit, who graduated from the massage therapy program in 2016, said.
Kubit added: “ I love characters that I can really utilize my crazy eyes with.”
Austin said the goal of fitting this performance between the fall mainstage production of “12 Angry Jurors” and the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” that Theatre AACC plans to show in the spring was to offer more opportunities to students, alumni and community members.
At four-year institutions, Austin said, students have to be a part of the theater program for years to get a spot in a play, but at AACC, the opportunities are more open.
“My credo is to cast the best actor, and they could be an alum, they could be a current student, they could be a non-student,” Austin said. “They can be part of the ECAP [high school dual-enrollment] program.”
AACC alumnus Amanda Matousek, who will play the housewife Pam, is “really excited” for the show.
“The show is funny and everyone’s funny but if I could step and take some liberties, I think Pam is the funny one, the funniest,” Matousek said. “She’s kind of crazy and so she keeps a smile on everybody’s face because they’re just like, ‘Oh, Pam, what are you gonna do with her?’”
Austin said the play will be especially relevant to AACC students because of the focus on climate change.
“Here at AACC, people are very committed,” Austin said. “Climate change is a huge concern.”

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