Elizabethtown College Theatre presents ‘Getting Out’
April 20, 2017   //   By:   //   Campus and Community

Exhibiting a side of the prison system that often is unseen, “Getting Out,” a play by Marsha Norman, American playwright, screenwriter and novelist, tells the story of an ex-inmate struggling to lead a successful life after serving an eight-year sentence.

Elizabethtown College Theatre presents “Getting Out” beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday, April 20, in the College’s Tempest Theatre. Cost is $7, and tickets are available by calling 717-361-1170 or emailing boxoffice@etown.edu. The play continues through April 27.

The “Getting Out” focuses on Arlene, a 20-something young woman who struggles with life after leaving prison. Though she tries to disassociate herself from her past, trying to forge a better life, she is haunted by people from her past, including “Arlie,” a younger, more rebellious version of herself.

“Throughout the show Arlene has the difficult choice of whether she’ll go back to her old ways, like when she was in prison,” said Juliana Krampf, senior theatre major and co-director of the play. “You see the struggle the character Arlie and Arlene has to go through, and it’s heartbreaking because Arlene has to lose everything to start over again, even part of herself, to achieve it.”

Audience members might find “Getting Out” to be a deeply emotional experience and can help audience members think about the struggles of an ex-inmate. As this is a performance surrounding a serious subject matter, it has intense scenes that display the troubled past of the main character.

 My favorite part of this experience has been working with the actors.”

The lead roles are performed by Amber Mangabat and Katherine Campbell, theatre and English majors, respectively. The male lead is performed by Chris Budnicki, a chemistry major.

“The show takes place in the main character’s past and present,” said Sam Kick, a member of the cast. “I think it’s interesting to see how these differing settings and times overlap within the play.”

Often, cultural depictions of life in the prison system take place within the walls of a cell block, but “Getting Out” is seen to be distinctive very early in the play. “This production is unique because it’s showing us Arlene’s first day, transitioned out of jail,” Krampf said. “As we see her through her day, we also see her in jail when she was Arlie. As the show progresses, we see how being jailed changed Arlie and made her into Arlene.” Watching the scattered scenes with Arlie and how her experiences affect present-day Arlene is interesting to watch, she said

Because of the difficulty of the subject matter, the actors have been hard at work over the past few months to perfect their approach. However, even despite the delicate themes and difficult delivery, preparing this play has turned out to be a pleasant experience for the involved students and faculty.

“My favorite part of this experience has been working with the actors,” Krampf said. “They have been a joy to work with, and I’m very proud of them for their hard work with this difficult show.”

~ Guest writer Madi Dodge is a senior communications major from Milford, Delaware. After graduation, she hopes to use her degree for writing or radio production.

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