October 4, 2017
SVSU’s first all-female cast to stage WWII drama, 'Decision Height'
Saginaw Valley State University will soar into new territory this October with the theatre department's first production with an all-female cast, "Decision Height."
Set in World War II, the play follows a group of women who form a bond of sisterhood while serving together in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), a wing of the United States Army Air Forces.
The main character, Virginia Hascall – played by Brianne Dolney, an SVSU political science major from Bay City – joins WASP and meets kindred spirits who also left their homes in pursuit of helping the world defeat the Axis powers. During the course of the drama, the team learns much about each other - and themselves - as they learn how to fly an airplane.
Ric Roberts, SVSU professor of theatre, is directing the empowering play.
"We wanted to not only highlight the actresses in our program, but we also wanted to highlight a young new female playwright, Meredith Dayna Levy," Roberts said of his motivation for bringing "Decision Height" to SVSU.
The play revolves heavily around the theme of the bonds formed between women. This theme has carried over into the actresses’ rehearsals and off-time, said Alicia Russell, a business major from Marlette. She plays the role of Rosalie Hartson.
"It's so much fun being in an all-female cast, especially when you have this particular group of ladies," Russell said. "The rehearsal conversations are a little different than a normal show. Since we're all girls, we talk freely about some things we might not always discuss when guys are present."
SVSU's tech, sound, and lighting teams have come together to create the illusion on stage of a WWII-era warplane. The behind-the-scenes crew will utilize video clips and pictures, sound effects, costumes, and theatrical lighting to help this show take flight, Roberts said.
"Decision Height's" showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, Oct. 4-7, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, in SVSU's Malcolm Field Theatre for Performing Arts. Tickets are $13 for the general public and $10 for students or attendees 60 and older.