“Madwoman of Chaillot” opens HC theater season

The Hastings College Theater Department kicked off the fall 2016 season with the production “The Madwoman of Chaillot” on Oct. 20-23.
Danielle Ryan, Dodge Weishaar, Basil Rabayda and Austin Heinlein plot the demise of Chaillot in an elaborate scheme for money. The four students played corrupted leaders, including a chairman, stock broker, baron and prospector. PHOTO COURTESY OF MB FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHY.

Danielle Ryan, Dodge Weishaar, Basil Rabayda and Austin Heinlein plot the demise of Chaillot in an elaborate scheme for money. The four students played corrupted leaders, including a chairman, stock broker, baron and prospector. PHOTO COURTESY OF MB FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHY.


The Hastings College Theater Department kicked off the fall 2016 season with the production  “The Madwoman of Chaillot” on Oct. 20-23. The cast included a variety of students, both theater majors and non-majors.

The cast went through some trying times as opening night drew nearer. At rehearsals, the week prior to opening night, and even during the dress rehearsal, some cast members were still fumbling over their lines. In the end, however, the play was a success.

The plot tells of corrupt people who are out to destroy Chaillot in order to find and take the treasures that are believed to be under the city. This plan does not go unnoticed by the public and they decide something must be done.

Caylan Hirschman was cast as Gabrielle, one of three
mad women.

“Gabrielle is considered the spinster character.  She’s old, she’s going to die a virgin, or at least that’s what everyone thinks.  She has voices that she talks to. One of them is mysterious man,” Hirschman said. “Gabrielle is just a fun box of everything, it’s nice to think as someone else.”

Although Gabrielle is a female character, Jim Fritzler, professor of theater and chair of the department, decided that Hirschman was the best fit for the part regardless of the fact that he is a male.

“I came to auditions one night, and I auditioned in the mad woman role because everyone was auditioning in the women’s roles, and [Jim] was just trying to have fun with it,” Hirschman said. “And here I am now sitting in a dress.”

Hirschman describes his biggest challenge in preparing for the role is learning to walk in heels.

“Being a woman is not easy,” Hirschman said.

The next production for the department is “The Famous and Original Bar Room Smasher” adapted by Jim Fritzler opening in early February.

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