‘Trifles’ to explore social, political topics

November 28, 2017

Lindsey O’Reilly

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     Political issues that people faced 100 years ago may still be relevant to discuss today. Students who view “Trifles” will obtain a deeper understanding of these issues this week.
    A staged-reading for the production, “Trifles,” will premiere at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 in the Osborne Studio Theater in University Hall. The production will run until Dec. 3. Seating will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

    The production is a one-hour act that will be performed as a staged read-through. Actors will be in full costumes with complete use of lights and sound effects. But instead of physically acting out scenes, they will be walking up to microphones and reading the play.

    “Trifles” (1916), written by playwright Susan Glaspell, outlines a murder that occurred in a farm community, according to Leah Chandler-Mills, director of “Trifles” and senior instructor in the Theatre and Dance program.

   “It’s a farmhouse way out of the way in mysterious circumstances; nobody can quite figure out what’s going on,” she says.

    The performance will be read by five theater students. Chandler-Mills plans to continue staged read-throughs in the future.

    “I hope to do a comedy, a tragedy, a realistic play and then a musical so that we have a variety,” she said.

     The play features two strong female leads that find clues to solve the murder. For its time, the play was progressive as it explores feminism and its impact on society, according to Chandler-Mills.

    “The reason it’s called “Trifles” is because it’s a very sexist play. The ladies are very bright and insightful on what they see. It’s quite a feminist play,” Chandler-Mills said.

    Glaspell went on to win the Pulitzer prize in 1931 for her work. how Glaspell left her mark on American theater through her plays that feature very real characters with insightful societal messages. “Trifles” is her most well-known production.    

    Staged readings are a popular type of performance in modern theater since these performances avoid the use of full rehearsals and memorizing acting cues for physical movement.

    Chandler-Mills says these performances make it easier to comprehend the play and do not require full time commitment for busy college students.

    In these productions, the audience still gets a real sense of the play through the actors’ voices instead of physical interpretation.     

    Following the read-through will be a discussion with hot chocolate and cookies provided.

    The discussion will go through the play’s meaning to society and the messages Susan Glaspell wanted to communicate.    

    The event is free for students who have a valid UCCS ID.  For more information about the event, visit events.uccs.edu/event/trifles.