McDaniel College Theatre is currently putting on the show “Best of Enemies” alongside Coppin State University, located in Baltimore. This is the first time the theatre has put on a production with another school, and students are abuzz about the experience.
Written by Mark St. Germain and directed by Coppin Assistant Professor of Theatre Willie Jordan, the show centers around a rivalry between Civil Rights activists, and comments strongly on race-relations in America, as well as how this affects both people of color and white communities. The cast features Dorrian Wilson and Jermaine Jackson from Coppin and McDaniel students Matthew Foley and Anna Rozier.
Heavy in its subject matter, the show has thus far gone off without a hitch. The opening performance was given at Coppin State between Sept. 18 and 21, and the secondary performance will be given here on campus between Oct. 2 and 5.
Elise Simons, stage manager for the show, described her experience in the show and working with another theatre.
“Being from Baltimore, it wasn’t so much as a culture shock as it was a practice shock,” Simons said. “Not every college theatre operates the same way and we learned that really fast.”
Despite the shock of integrating two theatres, the actors reportedly took well to the challenge and have stepped up to the plate. While Coppin’s theatre has many more graduate, post-graduate, and nontraditional students than McDaniel, our younger members took the opportunity to learn from their cast mates.
“Because a lot of the Coppin people are older, some in their 30s, it feels like you’re talking to someone infinitely wiser than you,” Simons added. “And in some cases, you are.”
While many theatre students at McDaniel are non-majors, those who are found the experience enriching and hopeful. To see actors, well into their adult years, still on the stage and performing their art, was a breath of fresh air.
“When you’re in college, it’s easy to think you are in the real world, when it is actually just a liminal space,” Simons said. “And meeting people and talking with them helps you realize that there really is a lot more out there to do and experience—and it’s up to us to go get it.”
“Best of Enemies” will perform in WMC Alumni Hall Theatre Oct. 2 through 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors, students, military, and the McDaniel College community. The play contains strong language and mature themes.