Brown Branches Out

by Alex Keys
Columnist

This semester, sophomore Paul Brown’s schedule is overloaded with rehearsals for two productions, which is to be expected by any student of an active drama department. The catch? The degree he is working toward is in art and biochemistry — not drama.

Sophomore Paul Brown will be starring in both “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Bakkhai”.

Early this semester, Brown auditioned for “The Bakkhai,” drama professor Dr. Tim Soulis’ rock-opera interpretation of Euripides’ classic Greek tragedy. Brown was cast in the role of Dionysus. While Brown is an accomplished musician with theatrical experience, this performance is his first endeavor into either territory of rock opera or Greek tragedy.

“I tried out for the part because I wanted to take a risk and be part of something very different than what I had done previously,” he said.

While Brown originally did not know what to expect, he is enthused at the way the show has come together in the last several weeks of rehearsal.

“We’re getting pretty close to crunch time,” Brown said, “but everybody has a great attitude and we’re making a lot of progress.”

Brown has enjoyed working with Soulis, as well as sophomore Alex Yaden, the musical director, and senior Ashley Stafford, the choreography director. He is looking forward to the premiere of the show next Thursday, Nov. 4.

As if the role of Dionysus were not weighty enough, Brown has also taken on the role of Tybalt in senior Patrick Davis’ production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”

The striking difference between the two experiences, for Brown, has been between Soulis’ and Davis’ directing styles. While the production is still in a very early stage of its rehearsal schedule, the cast of “R&J” has spent several weeks and much concentration on character development.

“You might have seen our characters’ Facebook profiles in your mutual friends and have been confused,” said Brown.

Davis’ production will debut Thursday, Dec. 9.

While Brown’s work in the theater department requires much time away from his main foci on campus, he is glad at his decision to become so involved.

“It is definitely time-consuming being in plays,” said Brown.

But he described it as “extremely rewarding.” While such an overloaded schedule can be busy, Brown maintained that it is worthwhile.

“I like being able to switch back and forth from right to left brain multiple times during the day,” he said.

While his Transylvania degree will describe him as a visual artist and biochemist, Brown is certain that he will find time for drama in his career.

“(Drama will be) most likely sandwiched between an exciting research job, thriving art gallery, superstar ‘R&B’ career and my newest restaurant,” Brown said. “Oh yeah, and all that happens in France, by the way.”

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