The Hastings College theater arts department has two of their members experiencing new roles for their play “Omnium Gatherum” this week. Sophomore Amelia Amicarella is the show’s assistant director and dramaturg, and Dr. Kara Wooten, visiting assistant professor of theatre, is filling the role of fight director and tech supervisor in her first year at HC.
The job of a dramaturg is to ensure the historical accuracy of the play. In “Omnium Gatherum,” there are many historic references, and along with planning the set design and props, Amicarella had to make sure they were accurate. As a double major in history education and theater, this was something she was interested in.
“I want to go into teaching, and I’m also a history major, so history and being able to help direct, its in my alley and something that I want to do. I was really excited to be able to help out differently,” Amicarella said.
Having a dramaturg is not something the theater department normally has. Additionally, this was Amicarella’s first time being an assistant director.
“It was a learning experience because I didn’t know what I could do and what I couldn’t do, so I kinda slowly waded in and then figured stuff out as I could, and I just tried to help out in places where I think I needed to help out most,” Amicarella said.
For Wooten, theater and dramatic combat is not as new. According the the Academy of Dramatic Combat’s (ADC) website, she is the president of the organization. Her previous experiences include stunt credits for “Designated Survivor” and “Dark Matter.”
Wooten has experience teaching classes and workshops in several colleges, with classes ranging from five to 1,000 people. Her current impression of HC has been positive.
“I’m very impressed with the students and how dedicated they are and eager to learn. That’s, you know, first and foremost what I’m interested in,” Wooten said. “I’ve taught at conservatories and things of that nature where you know the base talent pool is a lot higher or something of that nature, but to tell you the truth, I’d rather work with somebody who wants to learn than someone who thinks they’re amazing. There’s great talent here, but there’s also a good work ethic, which is very nice.”
“Omnium Gatherum” is a play about guests to a dinner party with conflicting beliefs and opinions that touch on social issues in the U.S. and globally.
“Omnium Gatherum” is showing tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., along with a matinee showing at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the Scott Studio Theatre. The play has a mature rating for adult language and subject matter.