Theater production features 2 actors

Baker University’s play production, “A Walk in the Woods,” takes a leap from the ‘norm,’ as it only has two characters.

As it was the director’s choice, Director Bruce Woodruff said the play is both challenging and enjoyable.

“(Directors) have a luxury here at Baker,” Woodruff said. “We can choose plays we like and have the pleasure of enjoying them.”

Freshman Nate Swihart, who said he has extensive theater experience from high school and has appeared in two productions at Baker, will play one of the roles.

“I’ve never acted in a play with only two character,” Swihart said. “It’s probably going to be the biggest challenge so far.”

The play is based on a true story, set in 1982. It involves a Russian and an American diplomat in Switzerland with intentions of settling their differences and create trust in the world by bridging the gaps that are creating disarray.

“I love the play,” Swihart said. “I think it’s hilarious. It’s a mixture of comedy and drama, not like a typical play.”

Woodruff said he chose accurate actors for the roles by already having an image made out of what the individuals should be like.

“I had a vision in my own mind of what the two characters should look and sound like,” Woodruff said. “I go to the auditions to see who reads and auditions well, and I see how the chemistry is as they start reading.”

The two chosen for “A Walk in the Woods” were Swihart and junior Brian Berrens. The two have rehearsals Sunday through Thursday, about two to three hours each night. Swihart said the director said they are right on track.

“Our director keeps telling us how well along we are and where we need to be, and he said we’re right where we should be,” Swihart said.

Berrens said he has witnessed a positive progression in Swihart’s acting thus far

“It’s nice working with (Nate) and seeing the growth he’s had,” Berrens said.

Swihart has noticed his own success, as well, especially in character development.

“I think understanding the character has improved for me,” Swihart said. “Also, I’ve improved on reaction. Half of acting is reaction.”

He said reaction was how characters interacted with each other on stage, responding to each other’s lines.

Woodruff said everyone involved with the production is anxious to see the audience’s reaction.

“As the show opens with an audience, it will be fun to see where the humor is,” Woodruff said. “It can be different every night … as always, I hope people enjoy it and it gives them something to think about. First and foremost, we want to entertain our audience. I can only hope that is what happens.”