Blinn-Brenham theatre cast and crew take trip to Cameron Park Zoo to prepare for ‘The Island of Dr. Moreau’

The 2018 Blinn-Brenham theatre season will open Oct. 11-14 at the O’Donnell Center

The 2018 Blinn-Brenham theatre season will open Oct. 11-14 at the O’Donnell Center

October 5, 2018

When audiences enjoy the Blinn College-Brenham Campus Theatre Arts Program’s production of “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” next week, they will witness a play with deep themes about science and humanity.

They also will see the results of a recent trip to the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, where cast and crew researched animal movements and behavior in preparation for a play in which many of the characters play half-human, half-animal hybrids.

“I felt that it was important for the actors to watch the animals and really discover the nuances of their movements, gaze, patterns, breathing, and overall demeanor,” said Jennifer Patrick. “Many of the actors saw things that they would not have picked up on just by watching videos of animals.”

Robert Kauzlauric’s “The Island of Dr. Moreau,” based on the novel by H.G. Wells, tells the story of mild-mannered Edward Prendick, who survives a shipwreck only to find himself on an island ruled by the disgraced Dr. Moreau. Ruthlessly pursuing what he believes to be God’s work, Moreau experiments on living creatures and fills his dystopia with a menagerie of tortured Beast Folk desperate to obey laws they cannot comprehend.

Instructor Jennifer Patrick serves as director and costume designer, and Theatre Director Brad Nies plays the role of Dr. Moreau.

“I play a puma, and the zoo helped me so much in delving deeper into my character,” Eva Kirby said. “I learned puma mannerisms, such as quick and shallow breathing.”

D.J. Jordan will play a jaguar. He focused on the animal’s impatient pacing while continuing to concentrate on one spot in its enclosure.

“This trip helped me learn my animal’s movements,” said Nicki Pinter, who plays a character whose origin animal is a monkey. “I got to see how the animals interacted with each other to better help my character development.”

Technical Director Kevin Patrick took photographs and videos of jungle fauna and flora, which student designer Jaci Weidemann will use to create full projections for the set.

“The Island of Dr. Moreau” will open at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 11-13, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Dr. W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center (campus map). To purchase tickets, visit www.blinn.edu/boxoffice, email boxoffice@blinn.edu, or call 979-830-4024.

Tickets for all shows are $10 for adults and $5 for students, children, and senior citizens. The play contains some graphic violence.

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