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It is difficult to conceal a bag of fake vomit. This was apparent when it came time for Lily Roe, one of the lead actors in the department of theatre and dance’s upcoming production, “God of Carnage,” to strap one on.
“God of Carnage,” a play by Yasmina Reza, is about two sets of parents meeting to discuss a fight their sons had on the middle school playground. Brady Beckman and Megan Smith play husband-and-wife-duo Michael and Veronica.
“Playing a mother is difficult,” Smith said.
“Playing Megan’s husband is difficult,” Beckman said.
This isn’t the first time Beckman and Smith have been paired onstage.
“It’s kind of like an old married couple relationship,” Beckman said of his relationship with Smith. “Like, we should probably be divorced, but we stay together just because.”
Roe and Casey Howe play the opposing couple, Annette and Alan. While Roe was putting on the puke rig, Howe was testing out a sharp gray suit, which would take the brunt of the vomit.
This was Roe’s first rehearsal with the “puke machine.” For a fairly simple bodily function, vomiting can be surprisingly complicated to simulate.
Anthony Stewart, who had been working on the fine points of the puke machine for weeks, helped Roe fasten a pair of clear plastic tubes around her throat. A sack full of a mixture of oatmeal, chicken and rice was fitted snugly against her back.
During the course of the night, three different consistencies of fake vomit would be tested.
Jess Clarke, the stage manager for the production, called for everyone’s attention.
“Okay, it’s 6:15,” she said. “Let’s get started.”
“God of Carnage” will be Clarke’s debut as a stage manager. Clarke has done plenty of work behind the scenes for numerous Winona State University theater productions, including the recent children’s show, “Peter Pan.” Stage management, Clarke said, was a “complete different monster.”
Nonetheless, she said “God of Carnage” was going fairly well.
“Everything’s been going pretty smoothly,” she said. A crew member asked Roe if the vomit tubes were digging too much into her neck. Roe shook her head, but didn’t take her hand away from the tubes. After she put on a shirt over the puke rig, it was almost invisible.
Satisfied, Clarke sat down to watch the actors rehearse the vomit scene.
“God of Carnage” takes four civilized, married adults and strips them down to what lies beneath: pure, animal conflict. The crude, unexpected arrival of vomit onto the scene is just one step in the characters’ descent from civility to savagery, giving into wild emotions that are buried just beneath the surface.
“What’s really difficult is playing to the subtext—their true feelings,” Beckman said. “You’ve got to balance what you’re character’s feeling and how they’re acting.”
“And being Megan’s husband,” he said again.
The actors took their positions. Beckman and Smith sat on one side of the set and Roe and Howe stood on the other.
Clarke and the crew sat in an array in front of the stage and waited for the moment of truth.
A lot of work had been put into one sack of fake vomit, and they were expecting, in a word, a “mess.”
Roe assumed her character and put her hand to her scarf, just over the plastic tubing underneath.
“I feel nauseous,” she said.
“God of Carnage” will be running in the Black Box Theater in the Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, until Sunday, Nov. 24.
Contact Hannah at HJones09@winona.edu
The Winona State University football team finished its 2013 campaign with a 23-13 loss to Concordia-St. Paul in front of a crowd of 1,265 in the last collegiate football contest ever played in the Metrodome.
The running backs couldn’t provide any offense, recording only two net yards on the game, while Concordia-St. Paul ended their day with 108 yards rushing. The Warriors posted 206 passing yards, while the Golden Bears recorded 225.
Winona State had trouble lighting the offensive fuse early, and they were forced to punt on both of its possessions in the first quarter. The Warriors were held to only five yards in the opening quarter, controlling the ball for 3:21, while the Golden Bears had the ball for 11:39. Quarterback Jack Nelson saw himself get sacked seven times as the Golden Bear defense applied stifling pressure throughout the majority of the game.
Concordia-St. Paul started off the scoring with a 36-yard field goal in the first quarter to take a 3-0 advantage.
The second quarter didn’t bode much better for the Warriors, with their longest play being a 21-yard completion from Nelson to Zach Olstad with 6:30 to go in the half giving the Warriors a first down.
Concordia-St. Paul was able to increase its lead in the second quarter, scoring its first touchdown of the contest on an 8-yard completion from Jared Russo to Cordell Smith to give the Golden Bears a 10-0 lead. Concordia tacked on another field goal with just three seconds on the clock to improve their advantage to 13-0 heading into the locker room.
Winona State scored halfway through the third quarter thanks to a 19-yard strike from Nelson to Alan May to cut the deficit to 20-7. The Golden Bears answered with their third field goal of the game, this one good for 32 yards as they took a 23-7 advantage.
The Warriors started off the fourth quarter in explosive fashion, as Nelson found Tony Mueller on the first play for a 29-yard connection down to the 10-yard line. On the next play, Nelson got the ball in Alex Jensen’s hands for a 10-yard touchdown to cut the lead to within ten, 23-13. A failed two-point conversion left the difference at ten that would end up being the final score.
The Golden Bears created four Warrior turnovers. Winona State lost a trio of fumbles while Nelson threw a pick as well. Nelson bounced back from his slow start, completing 13 of his 25 passes for 206 yards as well as a pair of touchdowns.
Collin Corcoran was impressive defensively for the Warriors, netting 16 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Pat Lazzara finished with 13 tackles and an interception. Ryan Gerts recorded for 11 tackles and a forced fumble, while Larry Mbayu added eight, and Morgan Weaver and Mitch Lunder each chipped in seven. Turrell Foster had six tackles and also picked up a Golden Bear fumble for the Warriors.
Winona State ends its 2013 season with a 6-5 record, making it the 17th season in a row with a winning record with head coach Tom Sawyer at the helm.
Contact Sam at SThiel11@winona.edu