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Clowns hunted for snipes on the Morehead stage - The Trail Blazer: Life & Arts

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Clowns hunted for snipes on the Morehead stage

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Posted: Monday, April 1, 2019 7:00 pm

Clowns and their hunt for snipes came to center stage in Morehead. 

The Lucille Caudill Little Theatre produced and premiered a student-written play this weekend for their second stage production of the year. Snipe Hunter’s Circus was written by Will Murphy, an MSU senior who graduates this semester. It was directed by Rebecca “Becky” Scott, MSU’s costume shop supervisor and instructor.   

This is the first multi-act play that the Alexandria, Kentucky native has had produced. He started writing Snipe Hunter’s Circus shortly after starting college, and it was produced after it was selected by the theatre department’s open submission process.  

Murphy stated that the inspiration came from an actual snipe hunt-a common prank to hunt for a non-existent bird- while on a camping trip with his brothers. 

“They sent me out looking for snipes,” Murphy recalled, “and I knew I wasn’t going to find anything. Like, I understood the joke, but I still felt this need to go out and do it, and that idea sort of sparked in me this metaphor that everything we do it is a snipe hunt. It’s fruitless, but we have to do it because we’re people. We always have this urgency of having to be doing something.” 

The show itself was described as something new, challenging and rewarding to work on by those who helped produce it.  

Andrea Cox, the shows stage manager, described it as a wonderful and different experience. 

“Usual theatre audience doesn’t very much participate other than laughing at a joke,” said Cox, “but with this show, the clowns are right in the audience’s face. They’re dragging them on stage to be part of the joke. I like to think of it as once you join the space everyone becomes part of the show. 

Cox herself was a last-minute addition to the show, becoming Clown One a week before the show premiered, and she acted in the play opening night.  

Rebecca “Becky” Scott, who has experience with the circus, also described working on the show as a “wild ride.” She stated that the script had several layers that took well into rehearsal to discover. This show marked her first time directing at MSU.  

“It’s kind of an adventure because it’s a brand-new script,” Scott stated, “and so there’s no filter, no frame of reference of other productions of it. A lot of times when you are doing a show, you are familiar with the script or you’re familiar with other productions of it, or if you even seen the show in high school. You already have in your head the way it’s supposed to be. Since this was an original script, that didn’t exist for anybody. We were getting to do it all from scratch.”  

Scott brought her personal experience with the circus to the play. Earlier in her career she designed costumes for the Ringling Bros, and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, and went on tour with them for two years. 

The play showed between March 28 and 30. Murphy said that he was very pleased how the show turned out, and was grateful for everyone involved. 

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