UCF Theatre puts on ‘Stop Kiss’
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 15:10
Students looking for entertainment in the coming week can find it in the Theatre UCF production of Stop Kiss. The play, written by Diana Son, is filled with dramatic situations coupled with comedic laughs.
The plot centers on two friends who eventually realize they have strong feelings for each other and share a kiss — a kiss that will dramatically change both of their lives. Callie Pax, a sarcastically funny traffic-news reporter, befriends Sara, who is new to New York. Sara, a charming but naive school teacher in the “Broonnxx,” deals with the harsh realities of being a small-town girl in a big city. The two eventually share a kiss and are brutally reprimanded for it. Gracie Winchester and Shanel Sparr give convincing performances as Callie and Sara, respectively.
Winchester, a junior in the musical theatre program, says her character Callie is a tough girl who doesn’t quite know how to express her love.
“I see Callie as a person with a lot of heart that is very passionate and has learned through past relationships to sort of be tough in life — generally a pretty tough broad, that has, I think, a lot of layers that cover up a big heart. Dig deep down and she really wants to let out how much heart she really has,” Winchester said.
To channel the emotion during some of the intense scenes, Winchester drew from past experiences as well as acting technique.
“Really what I do, once I’m on stage, is I try to just picture what my character is seeing,” she said. “I try to get to know Callie so well that instead of seeing the action in front of myself, it’s the reaction of how she feels. From an actor’s perspective I have dealt with tragedy in my family, so I’m able to understand those positions before, so I can sort of remember what I was doing when it happened.”
Sparr, a sophomore in the acting program, is new to the UCF stage and says she loves performing in Stop Kiss. She views her character, Sara, as a very happy and sweet girl.
“Sara is a great big ball of sun who wants to spread it all around for everyone,” Sparr said.
She draws parallels between her character in Stop Kiss and the sweet teacher Miss Honey from the movie Matilda.
“She also doesn’t have a problem standing up for herself,” said Sparr of her character.
Of the play, she said, “It’s like a romantic comedy with a serious side to it.”
Be Boyd, the director of Stop Kiss, said she decided to direct this play because it has such an amazing script.
“It’s interesting and challenging,” she said. “The actresses have to go back and forth in time, which challenges them.”
Boyd also chose the play because of its strong message.
“I chose this play because of what it says and promotes: basic human rights and discovery of yourself and what it says about violent actions with two people who are making a discovery about themselves. [It shows] hate crimes and how destructive they are.”
Boyd wanted to show how a single moment can change everything.
“It’s a beautiful story, and I love an intimate cast with lots of layering,” she said.
She thinks the UCF community will embrace the play.
“Some people might get a little squirmy. However, many will love it because it has such heart and the actors are giving their 100 percent,” Boyd said.
She said everyone will enjoy it because it’s a story of friendship and falling in love.
“It’s about finding out who you are,” she said.
Theatre UCF has teamed up with various on-campus organizations that help and advise anyone in situations similar to those portrayed in the play. Pamphlets and related information will be available to guests on a side table right outside the theatre for any questions or concerns anyone might have.
Stop Kiss opened on Sept. 27 and will return to the UCF Theatre on campus in repertory with Good Boys and True on Oct. 10, 12 and 14. Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances start at 8 p.m., while Sunday shows are a matinee beginning at 2 p.m. All shows will feature a 15-minute interval and refreshments for purchase.