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November 15th, 2018

novio boy rehearsalRudy (Osvaldo Morales, left), Alex (Fernando Nunez, center) and Mariana (Gissella Garcia) discuss Rudy’s upcoming first date during a rehearsal last week for the upcoming Seward County Community College production of “Novio Boy.” The show opens next Friday evening and all performances will be in the Showcase Theater on the SCCC campus. L&T photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times

 

Everyone goes through the experience of their first date with someone at some point in their lives, and an upcoming production at Seward County Community College should bring about some memories and laughter about that experience. 

The drama department will be presenting the Gary Soto play “Novio Boy,” which focuses on the story of Rudy as he prepares to go on his first date with Isabella. The humor, director Michelle Van Hessen said, is what drew her to the play.

“When I was searching for plays this summer, I wanted to find something I could incorporate the Liberal Latin community into. I also wanted to do something cheerful because there was so much going on at the time when I was looking for this play,” Van Hessen said. “I knew of this awesome Mexican-American poet Gary Soto and had a couple of his poetry books, and I called him and asked him if he had written any plays and he said ‘I have two of them!’ So I asked if I could read them and he immediately sent me copies of ‘Novio Boy’ and all I had to read was the first scene because it was so funny. I knew it would be perfect for us to do.”

And overall, working on the show has been a great experience. 

“It’s been great working with people you don’t see every day and seeing how you get along with them,” cast member Fernando Nunez, who portrays Alex, said. 

“It’s a really new experience for me, I’ve never actually been in a play, much less been a lead, and it’s been really neat because it’s helped me get myself out there more,” Osvaldo Morales, who portrays Rudy, said. 

“I felt it was something that would bring joy to the community no matter their nationality. The play begins in Rudy’s yard and he and Alex having an intensely philosophical discussion about girls and then the next scene has Isabella and Alicia having an intensely philosophical discussion of their own about guys,” Van Hessen added. “Rudy’s about to go on his first date and he starts asking for advice from nearly everyone he comes across and just about everyone wants to give him advice, including his uncle, his mother and Alex, basically anyone he runs into. I think the most important thing this show tells us is love is very powerful and it helps us get through a lot and can help everyone.”

The mood among the cast and crew is also positive going into opening night. 

“I’m really excited about it, I’m ready,” Nunez said. 

“I’m pretty similar to my character, she’s really outgoing and able to talk to everyone whether she knows them or not,” cast member Gissella Garcia, who portrays Mariana, said. “I feel like a lot of what the audience will see, they’ll be able to relate to and they’ll be able to remember how they felt during that time.”

The play will have performances Nov. 16 and 17 at 7p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 18 at 3 p.m., with all performances taking place in the Showcase Theater. Van Hessen and the cast offered encouragement for the community to turn out to the play and support other future productions. 

“Especially now since we’re all college students, it’s very different being a college freshman and meeting basically all new people, most of them older,” Morales said. “We just have a few things to polish a few things up, but we’re going to be ready for everyone opening night.” 

“It’ll bring them laughter, it’ll be somewhat of a reminder of when they were that age and everything was so awkward and going on their first date, so I think everyone will be able to relate,” Van Hessen added.

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