SU drama students put on new production, House of Spirits

By Saniya More SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) The Department of Drama at Syracuse University unveiled its new production, House of Spirits, earlier this week.

The production is based on the Spanish novel by Isabel Allende, which was later turned into a play by Caridad Svich.

The show contains a great deal of violence, but Celia Madeoy, an associate professor at SU and director of the production, says this is essential to its plot.

“We have to go there,” Madeoy said near the Storch Theatre, where the production is running. “It’s what the playwright has asked for. We’re the guardians of her words as actors.”

According to Madeoy, the production’s technical aspects make it a must-see for everyone. One of these aspects is the use of projections, which project characters on stage for a haunting effect. This sophisticated use of technology helps to create a specific ambiance for the production, she said.

“It’s a really harrowing play. It’s like falling into the ocean,” Madeoy said. “This play has to span 50 years in the past and in the future. We needed to be able to move in and out of time.”

The show addresses various social issues, including gun violence, sexual assault, and domestic abuse. Kristen Misthopoulous, a SU senior acting major, plays Ferula, one of the lead characters. Misthopoulous says keeping up the energy of her character has been her biggest challenge, especially because the projections make the play all the more real.

“Things that were already pretty vivid somehow became more vivid, and as an actor, having to do that night after night after night, I mean you walk off the stage emotionally, physically and mentally exhausted,” she said.

Misthopoulous says she hopes people start considering the various social issues the play explores.

“I want people to walk away, feeling not so overstimulated that they feel like they can’t do anything about these issues, but rather to feel like like they can go home and just start a dialogue,” she said.

House of Spirits will continue running throughout this week at the Storch Theatre, with their final show on Saturday.