Genesians, Bethel’s theatre troupe, will be traveling during spring break to perform shows to a variety of audiences. They are presenting “Click, Clack, Moo” and “Ten Miles to Jericho” to schools and churches locally and beyond.
Matthew Anderson is a member of the acting group.
“It’s a completely different kind of theatre experience,” Anderson said. “Instead of performing here, you’re going out and you have to adjust to every different environment that you go into.”
With the diverse environments they face, Anderson said one of the biggest difficulties is the fluctuation of stage size.
“[We have to] figure out how is it going to work now,” Anderson said. “You have different size stages, you have to adjust how your set is going to look, just based on the stage you’re given.”
The stage is just one of the challenges they will face during spring break; they must also be able to think on the fly and adjust to problems as they come.
With these challenges, there is a level of flexibility the ensemble normalizes for themselves; according to Anne Garrett, an actress in the traveling troupe, they practice being flexible in the rehearsals so they can then put that in action on the road.
“There’s a lot more freedom in it and we take more charge as actors because we are in different spaces,” Garrett said. “We kind of have to make decisions for ourselves with whatever area we have to attack at each performance.”
Anderson said that the group learns to improvise because they must make decisions themselves; they get to take charge of whatever needs to be taken care of at any given moment during the performance. They find a sense of urgency when it comes to performances because they are responsible for what happens on the stage, behind the stage and in the house of the performance.
Andrew Cora has acted with Genesians in the past, but he has a new role this year: he is stage managing the troupe. He will be contacting venues and sorting out problems; he will be the go-to person when anything needs to be figured out.
Cora said he is excited about his new responsibilities. Another thing he is excited about is meeting new people when they travel.
“We get to be someone’s family for a night,” Cora said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
The Genesians will cap off their spring break with a performance at Bethel University in the auditorium at the Everest-Rohrer building. They will perform “Click, Click, Moo” on Saturday, March 7, at 10 a.m. You can purchase tickets online at tickets.betheluniversity.edu or in person at the ticket office in the lobby of the Everest-Rohrer.