Updated: Apr 11, 2019
Valley College is hosting a funny and bittersweet play that’s due in November.
By Gabriel Arizon, Co-Editor-in-Chief
The Valley College Theater Department is presenting “The Baltimore Waltz,” a play following two siblings trying to find a cure for a fatal disease.
The play, originally written by Paula Vogel, follows a school teacher, Anna, and her brother, Carl, as they travel through France and Germany to look for a cure for her fatal illness, which is alluded to be similar to HIV. As the siblings make their way through Europe, they discover that a mysterious man is following them. Their adventure takes a dark turn from there, and Anna is forced to confront the harsh reality that awaits her.
Opening in mid-November, “The Baltimore Waltz” is being directed by Katherine Arevalo and stars Valley students Coco Briscoe, Joshua Esquivel and Nicholas Barrows. The role of production stage manager and sound designer is held by Enver Messano, the costumes are by Jacqueline Colindres, the lighting design is by Stephanie Morales and the scenic design is done by the Theater Department Chairperson Jennifer Read.
Arevalo is a recent graduate of UC Santa Barbara, with a major in theater directing and a minor in English, and an alumnus of Valley. She has done numerous shows for Valley between 2010 and 2016, directing “The Laramie Project” in March 2016 before transferring. Arevalo was contacted by the Theater Department about doing a project for Valley, choosing “Baltimore Waltz” after first learning about it in a performance class about plays that reference HIV.
“I thought it was just so wonderful and so creative and whimsical and fun,” Arevalo said. “It’s [by] a female playwright, so that was a great plus. It has a message about an epidemic that’s still strong in our country. It’s just something I’m very passionate about.”
Esquivel, who will play Carl, has been doing theater classes and plays since 2015 after falling in love with the art.
“It’s lovely when you get to work with people that elevate your work,” Esquivel said on his experience working on this play. “It just reminds you, that’s why I’m here, that’s why I’m doing this. It’s a collaborative art, so anytime I get to work with people that understand that makes it easier.”
Theater major Briscoe, who takes the role of Anna, previously starred in the summer production of “Liliom” and will also star in the upcoming winter production of “Way of the World.”
“Kathy is so funny and so much fun to work with, and Nick and Josh are a blast to work with,” Briscoe said. “We’ve put a lot of hard work into it, and we are delighted to perform this.”
Freshman Barrows has the most diverse set of roles, not only playing the mysterious stranger but as doctors and men that Anna has illicit encounters with.
“It’s a challenge, but I do not fear this new challenge,” Barrows said. “Like a true warrior, I will rise to meet it.
“The Baltimore Waltz” opens Thursday, Nov. 15, and will run until Sunday, Nov. 18. The Thursday through Saturday showings open at 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday showings opens at 2 p.m. It will take place in the Horseshoe Theater, with a ticket price of $15 online and $20 at the door. To order your tickets online, go to brownpapertickets.com and search for “The Baltimore Waltz.”