By The Way, Meet Vera Stark is a "seventy-year journey through the life of Vera Stark, a self-confident African-American maid and budding actress, and her tangled relationship with her boss, a white Hollywood star desperately grasping to hold on to her career. " It's the first production of Purdue Theatre's 2018-19 season. WBAA's John Clare spoke with Director Ameenah Kaplan, and actors Brianna Lewings, and Molly Bader about the production.
The production runs September 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29 at 7:30 and 23, 30 at 2:30 in Carole and Gordon Mallett Theatre in Yue-Kong Pao Hall of Visual and Performing Arts.
Mounting this play turned out to be more of an adventure than I had foreseen. I loved the script, and looked forward to working with the students at Purdue more than anything! I found an aesthetic for the show and charged headlong with the designers to make that concept come to life. But, a play is a magical, living thing with its own agenda. Vera Stark is not a hero. She’s a complex anti-hero whose desires combine with outside forces to make her experience difficult to summarize with a pithy quote. She is seduced by celebrity and a victim of it. She is proud, but takes actions that are easily defined as self-loathing. She is a loyal friend and someone who keeps her true feelings hidden. She is, in short, human. Vera’s humanity is what drives this play. She will hopefully remind all of us that there is greatness inside of us, despite our foibles. - Director Ameenah Kaplan