SCE “Stop Kiss” Breaks Hearts and Builds Bridges for Viewing Students

By Jack Despeaux 
Student Life Editor

How much importance do you place on where you put your feet when you go to bed? For those who viewed “Stop Kiss,” a senior directing thesis by Mark Christie, that question may begin floating around their heads, as well as questions about love, sacrifice, and defeating one’s fears.

Written by Diane Son, “Stop Kiss” is about the blooming love between Callie and Sara, two New Yorkers in the ‘90s. The show splices between scenes of their growing romance and the aftermath of an anti-lesbian attack on Sara that left her in a coma. This sequence left the audience with a polarizing series of emotions, and brought questions and issues to the forefront.

“My goal was for this play was to inspire people to look adversity in the face and smile,” Christie said. “This world can be so cold. But giving up is never the answer. Fight for whatever you believe in.”

Sophomore Mary Sprague was Callie, a girl who is lost in her pursuit of love and a career, until she meets Sara. Sprague said that there are powerful messages in “Stop Kiss.”

“Even though the plot hinges on a brutal, homophobic attack against Callie and Sara, it’s a play that ultimately focuses on the healing power of love and perseverance in the face of hatred and grief,” she said.

Junior stage manager Julia Lado said that while the US has made great strides with accepting the LGBTQ community, it still needs improvement.

“I feel like ‘Stop Kiss’ does an excellent job at showing what it is like to be a person of the LGBT community…it’s hard to flourish in a world that can be hostile towards us,” she said.

Christie said that he was most proud of his cast in the show, saying he felt “like a proud dad” seeing his actors put so much effort into the show.

Sprague echoed these thoughts, mentioning the help that senior Olivia Libowitz, who played Sara, and sophomore Abbey Kostecki provided her with during the show.

“This was my first show at Washington College, and I had such an amazing, enjoyable time. It could be really scary and stressful sometimes, but that was part of the fun of the whole thing,” Sprague said.

This show was a first for many others involved in the process as well.

Lado enjoyed her first time stage managing a show.

“Stage managing ‘Stop Kiss’ has been an amazing experience,” Lado said. “Mark just has a great vibe and is very clear in communicating what he wants. I really do believe that good communication is important for any relationship, whether it be between a director and stage manager, or a stage manager with the cast, [or] a director with their designers.”

It was also Christie’s first time directing a theater production, but he said he had an amazing time.

“It was something special,” he said. “It all felt like a dream. My cast and crew were amazing. We worked so hard and it truly all paid off. I love directing. It’s a lot of work but it’s all worth it when you finally get to sit down on opening night and see your creation come to life.”

Sprague also said that the show was like a dream come true. She said that one of the important themes in “Stop Kiss” was the notion of trying again, and now Sprague may try her hand at more shows in the future.

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