Photo and story by Ahmad Thomas / Contributing Writer
Operating as the setting of a semi-autobiographical comedy, Brighton Beach is home to a Polish-Jewish family and a young Eugene Morris Jerome. Set in the era just before America’s involvement in World War II from the perspective of a 15-year-old, the changing world is seen through the lens of an emerging young man.
This upcoming weekend, the MTSU Theatre Department will be putting on a production of “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” a play written in 1982 by Neil Simon. This will mark the first campus production of the 2017 fall semester and will set a tone for the rest of the year. The play is directed by senior Courtney Coppa, who has deep experience within the program as a director for three previous shows.
“This has by far been the best experience, atmosphere, cast, crew and design team I’ve ever had,” Coppa said.
Coppa participated in a “lackluster” theatre program in high school which she says opened her eyes to how much she still had to learn after enrolling in college. Coppa began her MTSU career as an actress, being cast in plays such as “Frog and Toad” and “Uncle Vanya,” but says she found her calling for directing during her sophomore year.
“I see each individual aspects of a show when reading it,” Coppa said. “I’ve always enjoyed performing, it’s an art and I think it’s fun, but I don’t think it’s my art,” she said while trying to hold in a laugh.
Coppa continued to express her excitement for opening night and how confident she was in her cast and crew.
“Even though we all live different lives, we can relate to this one play,” said senior Cody Hartman, who will be portraying the character of Stanley.
The cast also seems to be very comfortable with the show and one another as they goofed around with each other as if they were all a family. In some ways, the story of “Brighton Beach Memoirs” may have rubbed off on the actors, who have dedicated their private hours into crafting an entertaining show the entire team can be proud of.
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