Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

NEIU Independent

Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

NEIU Independent

Northeastern Illinois University's student-run newspaper

NEIU Independent

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    A Taste of Miss Julie

    By Samia Siddiqui
    – [post-date] –

    Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to have your senses tantalized with NEIU theater professor Kristin Hunt’s adaptation of Miss Julie, a classic tale of scandalous desires.

    “The intention of this play is to rupture people’s expectations of what theatre is like,” said Hunt.
    Miss Julie breaks the barriers of sex, class, misogyny and touches on taboo topics—literally touching the audience at moments throughout the performance. And hey, don’t worry about searching for a concession stand, because delicious treats are provided to the audience during the show.

    Hunt introduces an element of “food dramaturgy” to the audience by incorporating a series of aphrodisiac candies that are served periodically throughout the play. Hunt wants audience members to experience the story with more than just their eyes and ears—she wants you to get a taste of the action as well.

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    Hunt has spent six months working with a professional candy designer to produce her very own line of aphrodisiac candies to match the theme of the play, meant to delve into desires of romance, bodily needs and consumption.

    “Working with food in performances has been an area of interest for me – it’s a relational art—I mean, think of it like this: your relationship with a person changes when you share a meal with them.”

    As if Hunt’s candy creations aren’t enough to lure you in, the cast will send sensational chills down your spine with their passionate dialogues and music. The music for the play has been a collaborative effort of the cast members that seductively embodies the deadly downfalls of human desires: greed, love, lust and manipulation. Three sly servants arouse desires by being the “instigators of naughty” with songs sexually charged with “that’s what she said” metaphors like, “I want to put my banana in your fruit basket,” and, “Put your sausage in my meat grinder.”

    Sex, music and aphrodisiac candies – right when the audience thinks they have it all, they’ll find the intellectual stimulation from the script is the cherry on top. The romance in this play is between three women; in fact the only male in this play is one of the musically-gifted servants.

    “Some people may come to watch this play because, well, we play lesbians. I appreciate Kristin’s choice to use same sex couples to take out genders and focus on the real issue: the class struggle between Miss Julie and my character as the help and her love interest,” said cast member Jill Matel.

    Managing to gracefully present a risqué and controversial play could be quite a struggle, but the cast repeatedly expressed how fun Hunt has made it for everyone.

    “It’s been my favorite creative process, my favorite cast and my favorite director,” said cast member Nickolena Sellen. “Letting go and not needing to know exactly where I need to be—just living in the moment—that’s the kind of freedom we have with Kristin.”

    Heather Chilson, who plays Miss Julie, said that she started acting at nine years old and hasn’t acted for the past ten years. Upon seeing auditions for this play, she thought to herself, “I need to do this. I am passionate and crazy, just like Miss Julie. This is why I’m an actress, for roles like this.”

    “NEIU hasn’t seen a play like this,” said Matel. “It’s fun, it’s thought-provoking, and you get a piece of candy,” Hunt added.

    Miss Julie opens at NEIU’s Stage Center Theatre on Thursday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m., continuing through April 19, 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. and ending on April 26 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit the NEIU Box Office or call the Information Center at (773) 442–4636.

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