SF State Theatre Arts Department breathes new life into "The Barber of Seville"

Welcoming students old and new, the Theater Arts Department is presenting “The Barber of Seville” for the second time this year in hopes of not only providing great entertainment but also spotlighting one of the more creative programs offered at SF State.

SF State Theatre Arts
San Francisco State theater department students perform in the 2011-2012 season opener 'The Barber of Seville'. From left: Shahriar Ghoudsisar as Bartholo and Brennan Cook as Count Almaviva. Photo by Elijah Nouvelage.

The revival was staged to open as part of the school’s annual Welcome Days, an event for freshmen and transfer students to preview campus life.

“It’s a way to get people excited and interested [in the department],” said director and department lecturer Tracy Ward.

With Welcome Days attracting nearly 7,000 new students and families, the department saw it as the perfect time to help promote a program that offers opportunities within the theater and to jump-start the fall 2011 season of student productions.

“[The Barber of Seville] gives people the opportunity to see what the program is really about,” ┬ásaid Myles Vencill, who plays Figaro.

A light-hearted comedy, The Barber of Seville is centered on the love-struck Count Almaviva who is determined to win the hand of the lovely lady Rosine. Through desperate attempts at winning over Rosine’s heart with the assistance of his former servant, Figaro, the two conjure up ways to sneak past Rosine’s watchful guardian, Bortholo, who is pursuing Rosine as well. Originally an opera by Gioachino Rossini, the SF State version is being staged as a play.

“It’s an entertaining show,” said Brennan Cook, who plays the Count Almaviva. “It’s a show to go to have fun; it’s an experience.”

Cook, a 20-year-old theater major, is reprising his role once more for the play version and is excited to have been given the opportunity to do the show again.

Vencill, 21, who graduated in the spring, explained that it is a rare opportunity to be in the same play twice let alone reprise your original role. He said that he was flattered at being asked to participate in the play’s second run and to help promote the program.

“The Barber of Seville” began its encore on August 18 and will run through August 27. For tickets and list of showtimes, visit the theater arts department website.