On the first day of the spring semester, Samford Underground theatre announced their spring season of shows, and last week, announced their cast lists. On March 31 and April 1, Samford Underground will be presenting “Cardio,” directed by Zoe Clark and “Constellations,” directed by Sadie Sue Long.
For years, Samford Underground theatre has operated at Samford University as a completely student-led theatre group. These shows feature student directors, student technicians and student actors. Samford Underground exists to provide an opportunity for theatre students to learn how to run shows without the assistance of professors or faculty in their program.
Maddie Athearn, a Samford junior who was involved in the Underground’s fall show, explained that the Underground Theatre allows students to experience storytelling in a more intimate setting.
“Sometimes, when the shows are put on by the university, a lot of things are for publicity. They need to do shows that are good for the school,” Athearn said. “But sometimes, the best stories are the ones that don’t make the most money or the ones that have smaller casts and audiences. The Underground shows different parts of theatre and showcases different talents.”
This year, both shows were in the works well before the spring season was announced. Each potential show was first presented before a group of people from Samford Underground. Before pitching an idea, the student was prepared to answer questions about budget, lighting and impact of shows.
“Cardio” was written by Lana Scott Stringer. At its core, the play is about eight women and their passion for running. Their lives become intertwined through running on three treadmills at their gym, and the audience gets a peek into their lives and their relationships with one another. According to the New Play Exchange, the show focuses on eating disorders, feminism and LGBTQ+ characters,
“Constellations” was written by Nick Payne and consists of only two characters, Roland and Marianne. The story focuses primarily on their romantic relationship, combined with the idea that there are multiple universes, where circumstances may have had different outcomes.
It’s exciting to see students run full shows on their own. The Samford Underground provides an amazing opportunity for future directors and actors. This theatre group is known for bringing unique and creative ideas to the stage, and it sounds like their spring season will not be any different.