FloArts presents “Lobby Hero”
Florida School of the Arts (FloArts), located on the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College (SJR State), presents “Lobby Hero,” a play by Kenneth Lonergan. Presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York, “Lobby Hero” will take place on the FloArts mainstage at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 30 to Saturday, October 2, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 3. The show, which runs for two hours with a brief intermission, includes strong language and adult content. Tickets are $10. Face masks and social distancing are strongly encouraged.
"It is a very intricate and complex show about different characters wanting to do the right thing, but also having their own issues along the way and trying to figure out for themselves what is right and what is wrong in each situation," said FloArts student Natalie Drake who plays “Dawn.” “I feel there's a little bit of everybody in each of these characters that we can all relate to, and I think that it would be a really connecting moment for the community.”
According to acting instructor and the play’s director Kevin Kelly, “The characters in ‘Lobby Hero’ want to do the right thing, but they can’t quite figure out exactly what ‘the right thing’ is…” The acting takes place in the lobby of an apartment building on the Upper West side of Manhattan, over the course of four consecutive nights in mid-November. “Over the course of this difficult week, two security guards cross paths with two police officers on the graveyard shift, and each must decide where to place their loyalty,” said Kelly.
Cast member Natalie Drake, who plays the rookie police officer “Dawn,” describes "Lobby Hero" as a masterpiece, adding, "It is a very intricate and complex show about different characters wanting to do the right thing, but also having their own issues along the way and trying to figure out for themselves what is right and what is wrong in each situation."
In addition to growing her acting skills through the role of Dawn, Drake said she has also gained deeper insights about life as a female through the life of this character. "Dawn has been one of the most complex and mind-opening roles that I have ever gotten to play," she said. "Stubborn with what she likes and with her goals and aspirations, and constantly getting told 'no' because she's a woman living in a man's world of misogyny and people trying to limit her to her gender, Dawn goes out of her way to try to prove herself to those who tell her that she cannot live up to her own dreams and aspirations. It has been an amazing and inspirational journey getting to see the world through this individual," said Drake.
Due to the show's high level of human connection through relatable life issues, Drake believes that each member of the audience will connect with aspects of the show’s characters. “I feel there's a little bit of everybody in each of these characters that we can all relate to, and I think that it would be a really connecting moment for the community,” she said. While the trials and tribulations may be different, Drake said that the issues playing out on the stage are those that can connect humanity; therefore, she encourages the community to support the show for this reason and not only because it is a written masterpiece.
Describing herself as a "highly expressive and fluid-in-motion person,” Drake said that her biggest challenge playing Dawn has been having to contain her emotions. “Since suppressing thoughts and feelings is not Drake’s natural way, the audience will see her in true acting mode.
The cast is comprised of Noah Ogg as Jeff; Kwabena Flewellyn as William; Corey McKinney as Bill and Natalie Drake as Dawn.
The production staff includes director Kevin Kelly (faculty); scenic design by Tim Castell (faculty); sound design by Victoria Sanders (faculty); lighting design by Nicole Barnes; costume design by Shea McCord; associate director Theresa Castelli; stage manager Crystal Addison; costume faculty supervisor and shop manager Tiffany Jordan; assistant stage manager Chelsey Lake; production assistants McKayla Whiteside and, Dianette Moore; sound engineer Rhianna Kirkland; assistant sound engineer Lourdes Bados; light board operator Vyn Arellano; scenic construction crew: Crystal Addison, Vyn Arellano, Lourdes Bados, Nicole Barnes, Natalie Drake, Kwabena Flewellyn, Suzannah Gaston, Rhianna Kirkland, Kennedy Largin, Corey McKinney, Dianette Moore and Noah Ogg; costume construction: Crystal Addison, Suzannah Gaston, Kira Heuring, Peyton Kalaczynski, Shea McCord and Hannah Seyler; Dresser Hannah Seyler; house manager Josue Jorge-Silva; understudies: Alicia Jade Griffin, Kira Heuring, Peyton Kalaczynski and Padraig Jameson Kinnare.
Florida School of the Arts, serving the entire state of Florida, is part of the academic and administrative structure of SJR State and awards associate degrees in acting, dance performance, musical theater, stage management, theater technology, graphic design/new media and studio art. For more information, call (386) 312-4300 or visit www.floarts.org.
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