UC Merced’s art scene took a large leap this Fall semester. A group of UCM students are working on revitalizing the Bobcat Theatre group. In previous years, Bobcat Theatre had been primarily focused on improv exercises and activities that help students become better actors and storytellers, now they have decided to dive into full theatre productions.
I had the opportunity to visit one of their rehearsal meetings and was astounded by the refreshing vibes the group emits. During the breaks the cast and crew bond over jokes and life stories, but are all business once break time is over. The cast and crew work with heart, each member giving their all. Even when mistakes are made, the group and its director help each other to improve.
Club president and current director, John Fuentes kicked off the year by choosing two public domain plays. The synopsis of the plays including cast and crew are below:
Pity the Fool
Pity The Fool is a one act comedy that shows just how far one can go to get some pity! The method artist Jeorge (Michael Nguyen) captures the attention of two young women, Sage (Claudia Hernandez) and Mary (Esteffanni Lemus) by his rather unique take on vivid modern art.
JEORGE- Michael Nguyen
MARY- Esteffanni Lemus
SAGE- Claudia Hernandez
FRANK- Austin Cooksey
TECH- Daniel Mota
The People tells the story of a struggling newspaper company and its head Editor Edward Willis (Ian Ruiz). The People shows how powerful literature can be for a variety of different people. It opens with Newspaper Associate Editor Oscar Tripp (Luke Pomeroy) and Printer Tom Howe (Byron Garcia) as they give their opinions on the state of the failing newspaper. However, things start to lighten up when a woman from Georgia (Samantha Young) comes to pay the many staff of Office of the People a visit.
EDWARD WILLIS- Ian Ruiz
OSCAR TRIPP- Luke Pomeroy
THE ARTIST- Alyssa Valdez
SARA- Estefanni Lemus
TOM HOWE- Byron Garcia
THE BOY FROM GEORGIA- Chris Jones
THE MAN FROM THE CAPE- Montell Nwosu
THE WOMAN FROM IDAHO- Samantha Young
THE EARNEST APPROACH- Patricia Dimaandal
THE LIGHT TOUCH- Akhila Yechnini
THE ANARCHIST- Ian Pabito
THE PHILOSOPHER- Austin Cooksey
TECH- Daniel Mota
Rehearsing the plays was a daunting task, especially since most of the actors and actresses had little to no experience in acting. But they all pulled it off. The cast and crew rehearse once a week, every Friday for about 2 to 3 hours with additional rehearsals sprinkled around. Club president John Fuentes expressed his admiration of the group, “I could not be MORE proud. It takes dedication to give 2 to 3 hours of your Friday afternoon to act”. So with the plays chosen, a dedicated cast and crew, Bobcat Theatre will perform their plays tomorrow Friday November 18th in COB 102 at 8:00pm, doors open at 7:30pm!
The Next Steps & How to Get Involved
With their first performance coming up, Bobcat Theatre has not yet chosen their Spring semester plays. However, the group have decided to accept and review student written plays. So writers of UC Merced, please submit your scripts to John Fuentes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UC Merced students who would like to get involved with acting, the next casting call date has not yet been solidified, however, it will take place late January or early February.
Photo Credit: Benjamin Juarez