Ohio University

Q&A with the Cast of Romance, Nomance

Q&A with the Cast of Romance, Nomance

Ohio University Lancaster's Theatre program will debut its newest production, Romance, Nomance! A Slightly Romantic Comedy this Friday, April 16th. As excitement builds for the theatre program's first play in over a year, we met with the cast to learn more about their experience writing and producing this play.

 

Name: Samuel Beaulieu

Roles: Harry / Tommy

Tell me about the creative process when writing Romance, Nomance.

So, when we learned that we were writing a show, writer’s block set in immediately. I think it took a while for some of us to overcome it but ultimately we made a killer show.

How is this production going to be different from the others you’ve participated in?

Well aside from the fact that it’s an original piece. This show has been a real challenge because normally if I’m playing multiple roles there will be like 2 small characters and 1 medium role. But in this show we all play 2 characters each with lots of lines.

Tell me about your character. How is this character different or similar to you?

My character Toni is a little similar to me, mostly because I’m clumsy, I have a vulgar sense of humor and I can be a bit of an airhead. My character Harry and I share a bit more, he’s very upfront about the way he feels, he’s moody and I thought about joining the navy at one point.

What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?

The most challenging thing is animating the characters and making them as big and as over the top as possible. That along with all the characters individual emotions and how they feel about each other

What type of theatre fan would enjoy this show (examples of other plays people would enjoy if they enjoy Romance, Nomance)?

This show is for anyone over 13 that loves a good laugh and doesn’t take everything super seriously. Especially if they enjoy farcical shows like ‘The goes wrong show’ or anything of the like.

What’s been the most rewarding part of being in the theatre program?

The 1st thing that comes to mind is just the family that theatre provides. All the theaters I’ve worked in become a second home. Hell I even referred to some of the underclassmen from high school as my children.

Name: Katie Maccabee

Roles: Bethahny, Lola, and The Don

Tell me about the creative process when writing Romance, Nomance.

The show started off as an assignment for class. Professor Jones had us write a comedic dinner scene with a partner. My partners and I had an abundance of ideas for our scene. We would bounce ideas off each other that would lead to even grander ideas. We tried to build and sculpt the craziest, most bizarre, and hilarious story and characters.

How is this production going to be different from the others you’ve participated in?

Instead of performing for a live audience, we are filming and airing our production on YouTube Live. After the show we are having a live Q and A, for the audience to ask questions about the show, the process, or about the cast members.

Tell me about your character. How is this character different or similar to you?

I am quiet, somewhat shy, and semi-athletic. I don’t have a whole lot in common with my characters.  Bethahny is a loud air head with a BIG personality and likes to take lots of pictures. Lola is a runner who is boy crazy, and The Don...well he is a mobster.

What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?

The hardest part about bringing this script to life is not being able to perform for a live audience.  Actors feed off the energy and the laughter of the audience. During this process we have had to create our own infinite supply of energy to keep the show strong through the rehearsal prosses.

What type of theatre fan would enjoy this show (examples of other plays people would enjoy if they enjoy Romance, Nomance)?

I don’t know if there is any show quite like Romance, Nomance, but for inspiration for our show we watched the Carol Burnett Show, I Love Lucy, and sketch comedy.

What’s been the most rewarding part of being in the theatre program?

Working with Professor Jones! He believes in each and every one of us. He pushes us to be our best selves on and off the stage. He always says he is our biggest cheerleader, and he is!

Name: Orion Carter

Roles: Michael and Jarrod

Tell me about the creative process when writing Romance, Nomance.

It was a very fun experience. A lot of what I wrote was done through improvisation and playing around with my writing partners. There has been a lot of joy in this writing process. I’ve written some skits before but, this was my first big project. I’ve had a blast with cultivating my scenes and creating this hilarious show.

How is this production going to be different from the others you’ve participated in?

This is my first big play that I’ve helped write. I’ve written smaller stuff before but, this is a very different experience. It’s been amazing getting to work with my cast mates and make this show fly off the script pages. I’ve never done anything like it before.

Tell me about your character. How is this character different or similar to you?

I play two characters. Michael and Jarrod. Michael is a very peculiar man, he’s the type of guy who it hurts to watch him but, you just can’t look away. I’ve based him on the plenty of interesting things some men do on dates. I would hope that I’m not like him in person. Jarrod on the other hand is much more of an everyman. He’s just trying to create a nice evening for the girl he likes. I think including myself, many young men can relate to this character.

What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?

Trying to stay as loose as possible. It’s hard to let go and just be funny when you’re the one writing the jokes. You’re constantly thinking “Is this funny enough?” But the best comedy usually comes from spontaneity and being open. It’s been super fun finding new ways to keep the material fresh.

What type of theatre fan would enjoy this show (examples of other plays people would enjoy if they enjoy Romance, Nomance?

Anyone who likes farces and comedies in general. It’s not highbrow but dang it, it’s funny! If you like stuff like Moon Over Buffalo or The Guy Who Didn’t Like Musicals, you will enjoy Romance, Nomance.

What’s been the most rewarding part of being in the theatre program?

Getting to make connections and having fun working with the wonderful people in this program. I love this company and I hope that joy shines through this piece.

Name: Erica Thacker

Roles: Gladys, Layla

Tell me about the creative process when writing Romance, Nomance.

The idea of writing this show was first presented to the cast as an “exercise” in script writing. We never expected it to blossom into a full blown production, so we were able to really develop these characters into whatever we could think up. It was very freeing to be able to take in everyone’s input and make adjustments throughout the process, to make the show as entertaining as possible.

How is this production going to be different from the others you’ve participated in?

Being that it is a show that we wrote, there is a lot more creative freedom that we have been given in comparison to a traditional production. We were able to spread our wings and bring to life any vision we had, without restriction. Doing theatre in a pandemic has also brought along different challenges that I haven’t experienced in the past. We have had to adjust our traditional views of staging and interacting with other actors, in the best interest of everyone’s safety.

Tell me about your character. How is this character different or similar to you?

My character “Gladys” is a very over the top, obnoxious, demanding lady. Playing her has been so much fun, because she is very different from me. She is a very stereotypical “New Jersey” lady and it has been really enjoyable to delve into the character and make her as dramatic as possible.

What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?

It has been challenging to let loose sometimes. Since we are acting out our own writing, sometimes I am challenged with holding myself back, as I am slightly fearful of judgment. We have had to really let ourselves ignore the hesitation we feel, so that we can make these characters come to life.

What type of theatre fan would enjoy this show (examples of other plays people would enjoy if they enjoy Romance, Nomance)?

I think anyone would enjoy this show! If you like to laugh, you will love this show. It’s a very exaggerated “romantic” comedy. It is in a similar realm to a lot of Neil Simon plays, so I think it is a good watch for any theatre fan. 

What’s been the most rewarding part of being in the theatre program?

The most rewarding part of being in this program is knowing that no matter the show or the cast, it will always be a high caliber production. OUL theatre is truly a family, and it is so rewarding to be able to perform with the people you love.

Name: Sarah O’Dell 

Roles: Stevie the florist and Abby Smith. 

Tell me about the creative process when writing Romance, Nomance. 

Originally for Stevie and Layla, Layla was a sloppy woman, not an exotic dancer and Stevie was a sophisticated woman. Originally for Pregnancy in the Park we were going to be mothers that had kids playing in the park, but we thought with being pregnant ladies would add more story to the play. 

How is this production going to be different from the others you’ve participated in? 

I have only been in one other performance, which was Cats. This play is different because there is no singing incorporated.   

Tell me about your character. How is this character different or similar to you? 

My character Stevie is like me because she’s a people pleaser and is anxious. My character Abby is like me because I worry for others. 

What’s challenging about bringing this script to life? 

Becoming the characters were somewhat easy, besides being a pregnant woman because I have never experienced that before. 

What type of theatre fan would enjoy this show (examples of other plays people would enjoy if they enjoyed Romance, Nomance? 

If people enjoy comedies, they will enjoy our play Romance Nomance, a Slightly Romantic Comedy. 

What’s been the most rewarding part of being in the theatre program? 

Making new friends and being able to be a part of something that brings joy to others.

 

Read the official press release announcing Romance, Nomance! A Slightly Romantic Comedy here.