The New England premiere of The Flick at the Modern Theatre features Theatre Department alumnus Alex Pollock, ’07, as Sam, a leading role. And 2013 graduate Stephen Chueka plays minor roles.
Suffolk University collaborated with Company One Theatre to present the play, by OBIE award winning playwright Annie Baker. It explores the lives of young people working at a run-down movie theater in Worcester County, Massachusetts. The movies on the big screen are no match for the tiny battles and not-so-tiny heartbreaks that play out in the empty aisles.
The stunning new Modern Theatre, once a rundown movie house, is a fitting location for this hilarious and heart-rending cry for authenticity in a fast-changing world. The play is directed by Shawn LaCount, the artistic director for Company One, which was named “Boston’s Best Theatre Company” by The Improper Bostonian.
Actor "discovered" in classroom
LaCount discovered Chueka last fall in Professor Caitlin Langstaff’s Audition Training course, which brings in professional directors to critique student performances.
Company One has a history of casting Suffolk University alumni early in their careers. A special March 2 performance featured Theatre Professor Wesley Savick in a discussion with Suffolk alumni and a current student who had formative professional theatre experiences working with Company One. In addition to Pollock and Chueka, the conversation included Jake Athyal, ’14, who made his professional debut in Company One’s 2012 production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity; Molly Kimmerling, ’07, featured in Company One’s 2013 production of Splendor; and Company One Managing Director Sarah Shampnois, a graduate of Suffolk’s MPA program.
Road to success
Other alumni who worked closely with Company One early in their careers were Nael Nacer, ’07, currently in the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of The Seagull; Jonny Orsini, ’07, who played on Broadway with Ethan Hawke in Macbeth and opposite Nathan Lane in The Nance; and stage manager Alycia Marucci, a guest professional stage manager for the department’s rock musical Midsummer Night, to open in April.
This professional collaboration has provided additional opportunities for Suffolk students in and out of the classroom:
- Professor Gary Fireman’s senior honors Psychology seminar studied and attended the play. Managing Director Jim Kaufman, Savick, and Pollock visited the class to discuss relevant themes and issues presented in the play.
- Communications and Journalism Professor Tim Miller participated in a dramaturgical talk-back after a performance.
- Theatre student Grace Agosto, ’14, had a professional internship with the dramaturgy department, and Laurie Riihimaki, ’15, shadowed the artistic director.