Being the only woman in a play with six men seems like a dream thesis project, but for Arts & Sciences senior Rebecca Schier it’s reality. For her senior theater thesis project, Schier will appear as Lizzie Curry in this year’s Creighton theater season opener “The Rainmaker,” which opens on Oct. 8.
“I like that I’m the only girl in the play. It’s very obvious who the protagonist is. When you’re the only girl, you carry more weight and there is definitely more focus on you, which is what I wanted in a thesis role,” Schier said. “I feel like I’m one of the boys.”
Alan Klem, associate professor in the Theater Department, and director of the show, explained that there are actually more male than female theater majors at Creighton and doing this play “paints a realistic picture for life as an actor” because there are usually more male than female acting roles in the real world.
The play is set in the dustbowl during the drought of the 1930s. Klem decided to have the play take place in Western Nebraska, because it’s the only state that’s mentioned twice in the script.
“The Rainmaker’s” protagonist Lizzie, is a plain woman in her late 20s who everyone is trying to marry off. She finally gets a shot at romance when a rainmaker comes to town promising to make the skies pour for $100. The problem: he’s never actually made it rain before.
“I really identify with the character Lizzie. This play is about taking chances and recently I’ve been taking more chances. It’s nice to play a character going through similar things,” Schier said.
When Schier is playing Lizzy she gives off this intimate, passionate energy that captivates the audience. This quiet, sweet girl is sure about the character she’s playing, and that always makes for the best acting.
“Rebecca’s very conscious of her work. She’s always challenging herself. Her acting is believable and she has a real sincerity. She puts a lot of herself into the roles she plays,” Klem said.
For her Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis, Schier is evaluated on her performance and will write a 25-page paper. Then she faces the faculty on orals, sometime in the final quarter of second semester, when she will talk about her experience and receive feedback on her performance.
The men in the cast are played by Arts & Sciences senior John Paul Gurnett, as Lizzie’s father, H.C. Curry; Arts & Sciences senior Josh Peyton who plays older brother Noah, and Arts & Sciences sophomore Matt Krawsac who plays younger brother Jimmy. Nick Hartnett, Arts & Sciences sophomore, plays the swindling rainmaker, Bill Starbuck. Tim McCandless, Arts & Sciences senior, plays Sheriff Thomas and his deputy, File, is played by Arts & Sciences freshman Tyler Masters. Brendan Green-Walsh is designing the sound for “The Rainmaker.”
Schier innocently sells the play. “It’s a slice-of-life play. It covers a wide variety of topics like family life, romance, just making it work in everyday life. It’s also pretty funny,” Schier said.
“It’s a play the audience can identify with, and a good play to start out the season in a not too optimistic time in the world. It’s about hope and believing in yourself,” Klem said.
“The Rainmaker,” runs at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 8 through Oct. 11 at and Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. on the main stage at the Lied Center for Performing Arts.
Ticket prices are $5 for Creighton students, faculty and staff and $10 general admission.